Prince Norodom Chakravuth, acting president of FUNCINPEC party, has appointed Por Bun Sreu as vice-president in the run-up to the commune council elections scheduled for June, hoping to heal the divisions it has experienced since the passing of his father Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
However, the internal problems of the royalist party continue to drag on, as some party officials have declared the appointment administratively incorrect, based on the prince’s role as acting president.
Funcinpec spokesman Nhoeun Raden told The Post on January 27 that all party members would follow Prince Chakravuth’s appointment of Bun Sreu, adding that it reflected Bun Sreu’s maturity, and previous service to the party. He has been a member of the party since its 1981 founding under the leadership of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.
“Under the leadership of Prince Chakravuth, the party continues to welcome the return of former members. The prince will assign roles based on their loyalty and commitment to FUNCINPEC,” he said, adding that Bun Sreu had previously opposed the prince’s role as acting president.
However, Phan Sethy, who claims to be the spokesman for the party’s board of directors and who was expelled by the party, said that the appointment of Bun Sreu as deputy party president was not administratively correct because Prince Chakravuth did not have full legal rights to appoint anyone to any post, especially one as important as vice-president.
“I do not understand it why he keeps trying to do this. If you consult administrative procedures and the party statute, it is not right. If Bun Sreu is to be appointed, we must wait until a party congress has been held,” he said.
Sethy added that the appointment is also out of line with administrative law in Cambodia. An acting president has no right to appoint any person, but merely oversees the operations of a party or company.
Raden denied Phan Sethy’s comments, saying Prince Chakravuth has the right to manage and lead the party under the law and adding that the prince is recognised by the Ministry of Interior.
Bun Sreu could not be reached for comment on January 27, but in November he wrote a letter of support for Prince Chakravuth as president of Funcinpec.