Cambodian Prince Ranariddh ends retirement

Prince Ranariddh "was making a comeback" because royalists were in disarray.

Phnom Penh: Cambodian Prince Norodom Ranariddh, former prime minister, emerged from a two-year retirement and was elected leader of his self-named party.

Prince Ranariddh, 66, who currently serves as chief adviser to King Norodom Sihamoni, said yesterday that he was making a comeback to politics because the royalists were in disarray.

Prime Minister Hun Sen warned on Thursday that Prince Ranariddh may be dismissed from his position as chief adviser to the king if he returns to politics.

Prince Ranariddh declined to comment on Hun Sen`s warning.

Cambodia holds a general election every five years, and the next election will be held in 2013.

The prince announced his retirement from politics in October 2008, after his party won only two seats in the National Assembly in the general election held in July that year.

He subsequently became chief adviser to King Norodom Sihamoni, his half-brother.

Prince Ranariddh, a son of former King Norodom Sihanouk and a former leader of the royalist FUNCINPEC party, served as "first prime minister" in a dual-premier, power-sharing arrangement with Hun Sen after the 1993 general election.

He was ousted by forces loyal to Hun Sen and his Cambodian People`s Party in a bloody coup in 1997.

In 2006, he was toppled as leader of FUNCINPEC, prompting a split in the party and the formation of his own party.


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