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Prince Ranariddh Officially Files for New Political Party

Funcinpec’s secretary-general Nhiek Bunh Chhay, left, standing along side with Prince Norodom Ranariddh, file photo.
Prince Norodom Ranariddh on Monday officially filed to form a new political party, one he says he hopes will reunite supporters of the monarchy.

Political analysts say they doubt the Community of Royalist People Party will compete with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, who have narrowed a once broad political field.

“We submitted the request today at 2:30 pm,” said Anan Dayeth, cabinet chief for Prince Ranariddh.

The Ministry of Interior now has two weeks to respond to the filing.

Prince Ranariddh won the 1993 elections as leader of Funcinpec, a powerful party with the backing of royalists and their followers. But the party fell into decline after it was ousted by the now-ruling Cambodian People’s Party in a coup in 1997 that broke a power-sharing agreement.

There is now little room in the field, analysts said.

“In the current situation, there is no chance for any new party to win other than the CPP and the CNRP,” Ny Chakrya, lead investigator for the rights group Adhoc.