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Funcinpec Parliament Staff Split to CPP

Royalist FUNCINPEC party officials were chosen Friday as National Assembly's secretariat officials by ruling CPP, after joining the CPP several years ago, say CPP officials.

CPP's financial and banking committee chairman, Chiem Yiep says at the CPP headquarter that there was a warm up session by the National Assembly's CPP committee leadership for about 170 new CPP members, including not less than 50 from FUNCINPEC party, who joined the CPP, during and after FUNCINPEC's President, Prince Ranariddh was the National Assembly's president.

Other members are the National Assembly's officials not tied to any political party who served there for 4-5 years, and some are students who were chosen to work there.

Mr. Chiem says that those officials have the right to do whatever they choose to do.

FUNCINPEC party won the 1993 election brokered by the U.N. as first party. However, successing terms prove to be a loss of popularity for this party after frequent internal splits.

Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay cannot be reached for comments.

FUNCINPEC quota's Secretary of State Leng Peng Long does not deny or agree to the fact that some of his party members defect to the CPP as National Assembly's secretariat officials, saying he is not aware of that. If it were a fact, Mr. Leng says that this is their rights, and that he has no comments.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party legislator Eng Chhay Eang says that those officials, while defecting to the CPP, still want justice, and they want something.