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Hun Sen Reacts Strongly To Prince Ranariddh's Return

Cambodian government's leader Tuesday threatens to remove his ministers from their positions if they go to welcome home a leader believed to be Prince Norodom Ranariddh, royalist FUNCINPEC party leader, saying that no armed forces will be deployed for protection.

Prince Ranariddh left Cambodia last March after leaving his position as National Assembly's President, after Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and opposition Sam Rainsy party (SRP) join together to use the "50+1" formula to form a new government for the next term.

Later on many government and provincial officials from the FUNCINPEC party quota were removed from their positions, and have their positions changed by Mr. Hun Sen.

In an interview with VOA last week, the prince said that Mr. Hun Sen asked him to return soon and to unite his party.

Mr. Hun Sen reacts strongly to the prince's return at the 2006-2010 national development strategy, saying that the prince used the (VOA) interview to cite this return at his invitation, and that the prince left on his own accord, and that the prince should not wait for him to invite him to come back.

Mr. Hun Sen does not want deputy provincial governors and provincial governors to go and welcome the prince saying they have a lot of work to be done.

FUNCINPEC party top officials cannot be reached for comment.

FUNCINPEC party's legislator Maonh Saphan says that as prime minister, Mr. Hun Sen has the right to remove or change any officials he wants to, and that prince Ranariddh is scheduled to arrive in Siemreap on August 17.