PHNOM PENH - The royalist Funcinpec party will hold a national congress on Saturday, where more than 3,000 members are expected to discuss the future of the party and upcoming elections in July.
Nhiek Bun Chhay, the party’s secretary-general, told reporters Friday the party expects to appoint Princess Norodom Arun Reaksmey, the youngest daughter of former king Norodom Sihanouk, to be party president.
The party hopes that by appointing a woman to head the party, they will encourage more women to participate in politics. Funcinpec hopes to gain more seats in the July 28 election, having merged two royalist parties together, said Nhiek Bun Chhay, who is expected to remain secretary-general of the party.
The royalist party was once the main contender against the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, but its popularity has eroded in recent elections, and it has fallen from 58 seats in the National Assembly in 1993 to just two seats in 2008.
It has now become a coalition partner with the CPP, which dominated the 2008 election, winning 90 of 123 National Assembly seats.