Thursday, 18 September 2008

Exiled Prince can come home: PM

The Phnom Penh Post

Written by Meas Sokchea and Chun Sophal
Thursday, 18 September 2008

PRIME Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said he hoped exiled Prince Norodom Ranariddh would return to Cambodia for the P'chum Ben festival.

He made the remark during a graduation ceremony for students from Pannasastra University at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh.

"I would like Samdech Krompreah [Ranariddh] to come home for P'chum Ben," he told the students.

Hun Sen gave no specific details about the possible return of Prince Ranariddh, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Malaysia since he fled the country to avoid an 18-month jail term for a fraud conviction in 2007.

He also encouraged the Norodom Ranariddh Party to submit names for possible parliamentary commission posts.

"We will open parliamentary sessions on September 24 and hold votes only for commission chairs and vice chairs," he said.

He said that each commission will require between seven and nine members, of which he envisaged seven being CPP and two coming from the various opposition parties or long-term coalition partner Funcinpec.

Hun Sen used his speech to the students to encourage Funcinpec to make commission requests.

NRP spokesman Suth Dina told the Post Wednesday the party welcomed Hun Sen's remarks, and the prime minister was showing good manners in paving the way for Prince Ranariddh's return.

Suth Dina could not confirm when his party's president might return but that it could be as early as September 29. "This is a situation we have been waiting for for a long time," he said.

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