The Interior Ministry has rejected the decision of the royalist Funcinpec Party to appoint Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s son as acting president while the Prince continues his recovery from a car crash in Thailand.
According to a letter from the Interior Ministry issued on Monday to the party, the appointment of Prince Norodom Chakravuth as acting president is against the statutes of the party.
Last month, Prince Ranariddh appointed his oldest son to fill his shoes from his hospital bed in Bangkok.
The ministry said the procedure of appointment violates the party’s statutes.
“For this case, the Interior Ministry requests that Funcinpec reviews and enforces its statutes properly,” the letter said.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng said yesterday that the ministry was not exercising control over the party, but simply doing its duty by making sure the party follows its own statues that were filed with the ministry.
“Some people expressed their dissatisfaction, and asked the ministry to review the decision because it was wrong,” Mr Kheng said. “If any party wants to change its president, they have to hold a congress.”
Following article 24 of Funcinpec’s statutes, if the president is absent, the vice president would work on behalf of president as acting president.
After being appointed, Prince Chakravuth began clearing ranks in the party, terminating the membership of four senior officials, including vice presidents.
Former vice presidents You Hockry, Por Bun Sreu and Nhep Bunchin were sacked, along with former deputy secretary-general Van Sophanna.
The four officials cried foul after being kicked out of the party, claiming that no real reasons were provided for their dismissals.
Funcinpec spokesman Nop Sothearith said yesterday that he has received the letter from the ministry over Prince Chakravuth’s appointment.
“We sent it to Prince Ranariddh, and we are waiting for his response,” he said. “Prince Chakravuth has not said anything about this issue yet, and he will follow the decision of Prince Ranariddh.”