Cambodia's royalist party holds congress ahead of next year's general elections

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-23 14:18:19|Editor: Xiang Bo
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PHNOM PENH, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's royalist Funcinpec Party held its congress on Saturday to discuss strategies to regain the party's declining popularity ahead of next year's general elections.

The congress was attended by some 500 party members from across the kingdom.

Speaking at the congress held in Phnom Penh, Funcinpec Party's president Prince Norodom Ranariddh encouraged the participants to work harder to restore the party's popularity before next year's elections.

"We need to reunite the royalists, the Sihanoukists, and the nationalists for the prosperity of the monarchy regime," he said.

The 73-year-old prince expressed his belief that the party would win parliamentary seats in the general elections, which are scheduled on July 29, 2018.

Ranariddh, a son of late Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk, led Funcinpec Party to victory in the United Nations-run elections in 1993. He was former co-prime minister from 1993 to 1997, and ex-president of the National Assembly from 1998 to 2006.

Currently, he is the head of the Supreme Privy Council to Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, his half-brother.

Founded in 1981 by Sihanouk, Funcinpec Party was once the country's largest political party, but its popularity has gradually diminished from one mandate to another due to internal rifts.

The party failed to win even a parliamentary seat in the 2013 general elections.