[Editor's note: With two fractured royalist parties coming out of the
national election, Prince Sisowath Thomico, a cousin of King Norodom Sihamoni,
says he has a plan to revive the royal name. With Norodom Ranariddh running his self-named party from exile, and
Funcinpec winning only two seats in July's election, Prince Thomico has
announced he wants to established a unifying party. He sat for an interview
with VOA Khmer at his cabinet office at the Royal
Palace in Phnom Penh.]
Q. You have a plan to set up a new political party,
following the formation of a new government later this month. What is the main
purpose of this party?
A. I have a plan to find a way not to disqualify the voice
of the royalists. And I must set up a new party, but it is not clear how I can
set up the new party.
Q. How will you set up the new party?
A. I want to remind people of the royalist stance. Currently,
the principle of the royalists is not interpreted clearly. That's why the voice
of royalists has been disqualified and there is disunity among the royalists.
Because there is no clear ideology, no clear theory, no clear principle, and no
clear stance. Right now the royalist side has only individual principles,
individual theories, and individual stances.
Q. You set up the Sangkum Jatiniyum Front Party in 2006, but
later you gave up on the party and joined the Norodom Ranariddh Party, and then
Funcinpec. Why do you want a new party?
A. Because now Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh Party
have weakened, endangering the Cambodian royal family in politics. I recognize
my political process failed in unifying the royalists. I also recognize I lost
to [NRP Secretary-General] You Hockry and [Funcinpec Secretary-General] Nhiek
Bunchhay, who are the leaders disunifying the royalists. I cannot let the
royalists lose. I must find a way to put value to the royal family and
royalists once again.
Q. How will your planned party help promote the honor and
prestige of the royal family and the royalists in the Cambodian political
A. When the Khmer royal family becomes the national symbol,
especially in the political sense, and when the royal family serves the king to
protect the national culture and works hard to show the big national problem. I
hope to do so. I hope and believe all walks of Khmer citizens can unify
together to protect the border, sovereignty and culture. My stance is that the
royal family and the royalists can join in unity under the king and the
government to show the national problem.