Funcinpec party wants Princess Arun Rasmey to become acting president

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Former acting president of Funcinpec party Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey. Heng Chivoan

A high-ranking official of the royalist Funcinpec party told The Post on Tuesday that members planned to request the appointment of Princess Norodom Arun Rasmey, the half-sister of King Norodom Sihamoni, as the party’s acting president in place of Prince Norodom Ranariddh.

The plan was made after party president Prince Ranariddh, appointed Prince Norodom Chakravuth as acting president despite opposition from a majority of the former’s supporters.

Prince Chakravuth could not lead the party because of his lack of knowledge of current political issues. He even has no experience in politics, the official said.

His appointment followed after Prince Ranariddh expressed his inability to assume his responsibilities as party head due to his declining health.

“Under the past leadership of Prince Chakravuth, many structures of the party were destroyed and many people were fired. He allowed other people to interfere [with the] party’s internal affairs.

“He even planned to sell several of the party’s headquarters. So, only Princess Arun Rasmey can lead the party because she used to lead [us],” he stressed.

However, the official could not yet confirm when the members will request the princess’ appointment.

So Phanna, a Funcinpec party member in Siem Reap province, said he had heard the rumours and expressed no objection to the request because a majority [of the members] think that Princess Arun Rasmey is capable of leading the party.

“She had led all of us in the past and only a few problems occurred at the time,” Phanna said.

Despite the party’s sentiment, Princess Arun Rasmey said on Tuesday that she was not willing to enter politics again, and instead urged party members to honour solidarity, respect one another and work together to see a prosperous Cambodia.

“My goal in the future is to personally serve the people in the local areas through humanitarian work. I want to stay near the Queen Mother to serve her.

“I leave politics and the [Funcinpec] party to Samdech Krom Preah to decide on the party’s affairs,” she responded.

Prince Norodom Chakravuth could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.