Prime Minister Hun Sen has said he will work to have the word “prince” removed from official government use.
“I’ve stopped using the word ‘prince’ even in the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly,” Hun Sen said Monday in a speech to 7,000 factory workers, the second time in a week he has attacked the use of the royal moniker.
In an April 22 speech he said he would suppress the use of the word in the National Assembly and the Senate.
Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy, with a long tradition of kings, but Hun Sen’s main political rival was once Prince Norodom Ranariddh, son of former king Norodom Sihanouk.
Ranariddh is leading an eponymous party, from exile, for general parliamentary elections in July, contesting Funcinpec for the role of “royalist” party.
Funcinpec Minister of Rural Development Lu Laysreng said Monday the suppression of the word “prince” in government “is not inconvenient for our party.”
“If a person doesn’t want to use this word, there are others who use it,” he said.
Ny Chakrya, a leading investigator for the rights group Adhoc, said even if Hun Sen stops only himself from using the word, there will be an impact on royalists.
Several times in the past few years, Hun Sen has sought to have a law banning royal family members from engaging in politics, or, if they want to remain in politics, renounce their royal status.