Cambodia's Prince Ranariddh officially restarts political career

16:02, December 11, 2010      

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Cambodia's Prince Norodom Ranariddh returned to politics on Saturday after more than two years' departure, vowing to reunite royalists for the national election in 2013.

The Nationalist Party changed its name to its original name Norodom Ranariddh Party and unanimously elected Prince Norodom Ranariddh as the president of the party at its general assembly on Saturday with 500 deputies present, according to the party's press release.

"I agreed to reenter politics to lead the party in order to reunite the real royalists and Sihanoukists who have been split a part to join the party to construct the nation, to build a national unification, to protect sovereignty, territorial integrity, and to develop the nation in all domains," the prince told the general assembly.

The prince said that the party will hold "the middle stance", not act as the opposition party, but re-mobilize the royalists and cooperate with the ruling Cambodian People's Party to build the nation.

The prince announced in October 2008 his complete resignation from politics after his Norodom Ranariddh Party won only two seats in the National Assembly in general election in July 2008. The party then changed its name to the Nationalist Party.

The National Assembly is made up of 123 lawmakers from Cambodian People's Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen, opposition Sam Rainsy Party, Human Rights Party, FUNCINPEC Party, and Norodom Ranariddh Party.

The Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) was established in 2007 after the prince was toppled from the president of the royalist FUNCINPEC Party in 2006.

Prince Ranariddh is now a president of the supreme advisory council to King Norodom Sihamoni.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen warned Thursday he would propose to King Norodom Sihanomi to revoke Prince Norodom Ranariddh's role as the president of the supreme advisory council to King Norodom Sihamoni if the prince reenters politics.

Prince Ranariddh is the son of former King Norodom Sihahouk and is the elder brother of the present King Norodom Sihamoni. He had been the first prime minister in 1993 and the president of the National Assembly in 1998.

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