Wednesday, 22 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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Defense Teams Leave Khmer Rouge Tribunal Hearingi
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18 October 2014
Defense lawyers for Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan boycotted an opening hearing for the two men on Friday, leaving the courtroom and putting the second and final phase of the trial for the two men in limbo. Nuon Chea’s team has asked for a disqualification of four judges, while Khieu Samphan’s team has asked for an appeal on an initial judgment against him. Neither request has yet been heard, but tribunal officials say they will be. It remains unclear what will happen next with the hearing. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

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