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Opposition Compromises on Funeral Plans for Former Prime Minister


Family members of Pen Sovann, former Cambodian prime minister during the People's Republic of Kampuchea arrived at Than Buddhist temple, in Phnom Penh, on November 2, 2016.

Family members of Pen Sovann, former Cambodian prime minister during the People's Republic of Kampuchea arrived at Than Buddhist temple, in Phnom Penh, on November 2, 2016.

In a statement on Thursday, the CNRP announced that Sovann’s body would be taken on Sunday to Wat Than pagoda on the capital’s outskirts for the cremation.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has backed down on plans to hold the cremation ceremony for the late former prime minister, Pen Sovann, in central Phnom Penh following a meeting with City Hall officials.

In a statement on Thursday, the CNRP announced that Sovann’s body would be taken on Sunday to Wat Than pagoda on the capital’s outskirts for the cremation.

Sovann, the country’s first post-Khmer Rouge prime minister, died from a longstanding illness on Saturday at his home in Takeo province. He was 80.

Pol Ham, a CNRP lawmaker who is leading the preparations, said the procession would begin at 7am.

According to the minutes of the meeting with city officials, they had opposed the opposition’s request to hold the ceremony at Wat Chas – where numerous high-ranking officials have had their funerals in recent years – because they did not consider Sovann of comparable stature.

Ham declined to comment on the change of plans.

Yem Ponharith and Meas Chan Yada, a City Hall spokesman, could not be reached for comments on Thursday.

Sovann’s body was transported to Wat Than in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.

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