Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cambodia

Prince Ranariddh Says He's Quitting Politics

Support for the royalist parties has waned in recent elections, with both the Norodom Ranariddh Party and the Funcinpec party.

Funcinpec’s secretary-general Nhiek Bunh Chhay, left, standing along side with Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Funcinpec’s secretary-general Nhiek Bunh Chhay, left, standing along side with Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
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Funcinpec’s secretary-general Nhiek Bunh Chhay, left, standing along side with Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
Funcinpec’s secretary-general Nhiek Bunh Chhay, left, standing along side with Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
Sok KhemaraVOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the one-time rival of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the head of his own royalist party, claims he is giving up on politics.

In a statement issued last week, the prince said he will now serve the public by helping his brother, the current king, Norodom Sihamoni, as an adviser.

"I would like to declare that from now on, I cease politics, and I will not take any responsibility for any of the work or declarations of the Norodom Ranariddh Party," he said.

The move signals the prince's inability to gain seats in parliament for his royalist party, said Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.

It also means the retirement of a one-time co-prime minister, whose wide popularity made him a major political rival of the ruling party. He was unseated in a bloody coup in 1997 and never politically recovered. He was also accused of corruption and spent time in exile before he was allowed back for elections in 2008.

Support for the royalist parties has waned in recent elections, with both the Norodom Ranariddh Party and the older Funcinpec with poor showings in the 2008 national elections and this year's local commune elections.
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Demonstrators Call on Government To Fulfill Principles of Peace Accordsi
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24 October 2014
Hundreds of activists demonstrated in Phnom Penh on Thursday, gathering to protest the government’s failure to fulfill the promises of the Paris Peace Accords, which were signed in 1991 and brought liberal democracy and a constitution to a country that had been shattered by war. The demonstrators submitted a petition to the US and other embassies, calling for international pressure on the Cambodian government to follow the accords. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

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