Funcinpec president Prince Norodom Ranariddh says his party will meet on Monday to pick 60 out of 123 senior party members to take up parliamentary positions if the CNRP is dissolved.
Speaking at Phnom Penh International Airport before leaving for a trip abroad, Prince Ranariddh said he would be happy to accept the seats if the CNRP were dissolved, but everything depended on the Supreme Court.
“I do nothing and they give me 41 seats, so I am happy to accept,” he said. “If on November 16 the Supreme Court decides to allow us to get seats from the CNRP we will take them.”
The Monday meeting will be used to decide which party members will stand to replace CNRP lawmakers.
“We have 123 high-level officials but we have to select 60 members,” he said. “I will give a speech to my members telling them not to forget our origins. We are Khmers and we have to serve Khmers.”
Prince Ranariddh said his party would be ready to do its duty, but not until it is called to action.
“We cannot make the decision on behalf of the Supreme Court,” he noted.
The Interior Ministry last month filed a request to the Supreme Court to have the CNRP dissolved following complaints lodged against it by Funcinpec and the Cambodian Youth Party.
Judge Dith Munthy last week scheduled a hearing in the case for November 16.
CNRP lawmaker Mao Monyvann urged a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing political conflict between the ruling CPP and opposition to avoid dissolution of the party.
King Norodom Sihamoni last month signed off on four sets of controversial amendments to electoral laws, officially approving provisions that would allow the opposition CNRP’s seats to be redistributed in the event of its dissolution.
The amendments allow for the redistribution of the CNRP’s 55 National Assembly seats among minor parties, with 44 of the seats going to royalist party Funcinpec.
The other amendments will permit the CPP to occupy all of the opposition’s local-level positions, giving the ruling party virtually complete control of grassroots politics.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the CNRP is bound to be dissolved for attempting to topple the government with help from a foreign power.
“According to their crimes, they cannot avoid dissolution,” he said.
The European Parliament’s Asean delegation concluded a two-day visit to the country yesterday.
Delegation chair Werner Langen expressed concerns about recent political and human rights developments in Cambodia.
“In order to have free and fair general elections in July next year, the country needs an open and transparent level playing field,” Mr Langen said.
“The Government of Cambodia should be aware that the European Parliament is a co-legislator for budgetary and trade issues,” Mr Langen said.