Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Monday that he will honor the request to oust co-Minister of Interior You Hockry, but will wait until he receives a “full list” of party officials’ signatures before going through with the firing.
The prince did not say what would constitute a “full list.”
So far, 58 of the 62 members of the Funcinpec Steering Committee have signed an order to fire You Hockry from his post in the Interior Ministry.
“I have not yet received the complete list [of signatures], and I hope that I will receive it today,” Prince Ranariddh said. He added, “I will allow You Hockry to meet with me to discuss this matter after I get the list.”
When asked about the firing at the National Assembly Monday, You Hockry replied, “I don’t know.”
One high-ranking Funcinpec member said party officials will wait until Prince Ranariddh approves the order before making another move because the steering committee has “already approved the decision to fire You Hockry.” The official added that if You Hockry tries to act “hardline” and fight the order, the steering committee will also oust him from his position in the party.
The push to move You Hockry came to light in mid-March, when a coalition of Funcinpec officials, led by RCAF Deputy Commander-in-Chief Khan Savoeun, accused the co-minister of interior of nepotism and corruption. You Hockry has denied the allegations.
Currently, high-ranking Funcinpec officials are looking for someone to act as co-minister of interior if and when You Hockry is fired, said a Funcinpec official who declined to be identified.
“We are worried this seat will be empty and [Funcinpec] will lose a seat,” the official said. “We have not yet decided who will be acting co-minister of interior, but it is not a problem of ousting You Hockry anymore.”
According to one Funcinpec source, the list of possible candidates to temporarily replace You Hockry includes Nhiek Bun Chhay, vice chairman for the Senate; Khan Savoeun; Kieng Vang, secretary of state for the Interior Ministry; Lu Laysreng, minister of information; Por Bun Sroeu, secretary of state for the Ministry of Defense; and parliamentarian Khek Vandy.
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