Friday, January 2, 2009

An official from the royal palace appeal to members of the royal family to quit politics

Radio Free Asia
1st January, 2009
By Phan Sophath
Translated from Khmer by Khmerization

An official of the royal palace, who is also a member of the royal family, has appealed to all members of the royal family to quit politics for the interests of the Throne and to help in the royal duties of the king.

Prince Sisowath Thomico (pictured with garland), advisor to the royal cabinet, has told Radio Free Asia that, currently, despite there is no laws to ban the royals from politics, the voluntary exit from politics of the members of the royal family would be the best option.

Prince thomico said: “as long as the members of the royal family stay in politics, serve political interests of political parties, the attacks on those members of the royal family is like the attacks on the person of the king or the Throne and that would make the position of the king and the Throne weakened. When people attacks the those members of the royal family it is like they are attacking the king and the Throne.”

Recently, there are some members of the royal family, including Prince Norodom Ranariddh who used to be president of the Funcinpec Party and ex-Prime Minister, had announced their retirements from politics.

After their announcements to stay out of politics, Prince Ranariddh and a certain numbers of princesses have been appointed by the king to be his personal advisors and advisors to the royal cabinet, the positions that are equivalent in ranks to the prime minister, ministers, secretaries of state and under-secretaries of state.

Mr. Khieu Kanharith, government spokesman, said that it would be good for the Throne if the royals leave politics voluntarily. He said: “In short, if we want to consider the king as a symbol of national unity, if the royals engage in social works, I believe that we can preserve a better monarchy and the people will respect them more. If they involve in the dirty politics of state, we can see that their actions will affect the monarchy because our nation has just ended civil wars which have severely wounded the monarchy.”

Cambodia has restored the monarchy in 1993, after it was dissolved by a coup in 1970 that declared Cambodia a republic and after that the monarchy was continuously persecuted by subsequent communist regimes.

Under the present constitution, Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy whereby the king reigns but does not rule. At the same time, both the Throne and the state laws did not prohibit the royals from involving in politics.
One day after Prince Thomico made this appeal, Prince Sisowath Sirirath told the Phnom Post that he remained committed to politics.


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