Thursday, 18 September 2008

Hun Sen confirms the imminent return of Prince Ranariddh to Cambodia

Cambodge Soir


The Prime Minister justifies this decision through the conciliatory attitude of the NRP leader after the elections.

“Prince Norodom Ranariddh is allowed to return to the country during the Pchum Ben celebrations”, explained Hun Sen on Wednesday 17 September, to students of a private university in Phnom Penh during a graduation ceremony.

The Government Leader explained his decision through the fact that Prince Norodom Ranariddh had “accepted the election results and is encouraging the deputies to swiftly establish a new government”.

After having disputed the ballot results, granting him only two deputies, the NRP leader suddenly changed his mind and decided to acknowledge the legitimacy of the new Assembly.

Commentators second-guessed that the prince had bargained his support for the CPP against a promise to be allowed back in the country.

Prince Norodom Ranariddh lives in Malaysia and was forbidden to return to Cambodia after being sentenced in absentia to 18 months in prison for the controversial sale of the land of the Funcinpec headquarters.

Hun Sen apologised for not having consulted the Funcinpec Secretary General, Nhek Bunchhay, before giving the green light.

The fate of the prince lies now in the hands of his stepbrother, King Norodom Sihamoni who is the only person able to grant pardon.

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