Phnom Penh: Khmer United National Party President, Nhek Bun Chhay has rejected the statement of FUNCINPEC stating that its leader, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, decided not to hold any negotiations between the two parties. He says the group continues to open its door to welcome former leaders and members at all levels who wish to return to his parade and live under the roof of FUNCINPEC. Chhay says, “The Khmer United National Party considers that this declaration does not reflect the will of FUNCINPEC’s President, Norodom Ranariddh, but only the opinion of two individuals who do not have a role in this party.”
The KUNP has stated that there are people in FUNCINPEC trying to prevent the unification. It has denied FUNCINPEC's statement, saying that the unification move was made by two people and not by FUNCINPEC as a whole. On Friday, FUNCINPEC has released a statement saying, “Chhay still intends to apply for the presidency of FUNCINPEC if there is a merger between the two parties, which caused the prince to decide not to agree. However, FUNCINPEC is still open to those who wish to return to the party.” KUNP has responded on Saturday highlighting that FUNCINPEC's declaration is an act on behalf of Ranariddh in order to seek personal gain against the intention of the unification.
KUNP says, "Please, members of the Khmer United National Party and FUNCINPEC, do not believe in these two individuals, who have always acted as representatives of Prince Ranariddh in the appointment and removal of FUNCINPEC leaders in order to find personal interests and against the wisdom of the prince. These two individuals are historically responsible for this unification."
Internal conflicts within FUNCINPEC began to disintegrate in 2006 after Prince Norodom Ranariddh, who was succeeded by Nhek Bun Chhay as president of FUNCINPEC, formed a new party, the Norodom Ranariddh Party. Later, with political negotiations, FUNCINPEC was reunited in 2012, but the ties were broken in 2016 after Chhay formed the Khmer United National Party following several splits in 2019.