PHNOM PENH, June 3 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s major opposition Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP) accused Prime Minister Hun Sen of using his power to convict party leader and prince Norodom Ranariddh, the English-Khmer language newspaper the Cambodian Daily reported Tuesday.
The NRP made the accusation in a statement issued on Monday, after the premier vowed on Sunday to implement the prince’s prison conviction, which is being appealed at the Supreme Court.
His remarks “show that Hun Sen is using his influence and power to pressure and force the court to convict the prince,” said the statement.
“Hun Sen has regarded the prince as an enemy,” it said, adding that “Hun Sen is prime minister. He should implement the law. He should not take political revenge.” Hun Sen said here Sunday that Prince Ranariddh will be sent to prison if court makes the final judgment that he is guilty.
“I will (let police) arrest him as soon as he off-boards airplane (from his overseas exile),” he said.
In 2006, Ranariddh was sacked as president of the co-ruling Funcinpec Party, which was established by Sihanouk as the foremost royal political force of the country. He then established NRP by himself.
In 2007, Funcinpec accused him of fraud and the court sentenced him to 18 months in jail in absentia.The prince, now in exile in Malaysia, has appealed to the Supreme Court against the sentence. Meanwhile, NRP has been approved to participate in the upcoming general election in July, which will establish the kingdom’s fourth government.
Ranariddh and Hun Sen once worked as co-premiers to serve the kingdom’s first government. During his political career, Ranariddh was also elected as parliamentary leader, or president of the National Assembly, for two times.