The SRP and the Norodom Ranariddh Party have decided to call a truce in their criticisms of each other in the media, officials for the two parties said.
The SRP and NRP—which both have daily, hour-long programs on FM 105 Beehive radio and party-affiliated newspapers—have sparred in the media since late last month’s calls by Prince Ranariddh for the parties to form a “mass movement” to take on the ruling CPP in next year’s national election.
SRP President Sam Rainsy said Thursday that he has called on the NRP to cease criticizing his party on their “Royalist Voice” program, because such attacks only bolstered the ruling party.
“[The SRP and NRP] are democrats and nationalists,” Sam Rainsy said by telephone. “We are opposition parties…. We should not criticize each other because it will benefit the CPP.”
Sam Rainsy added, however, that the truce does not mean the two parties will be singing each other’s praises.
“I won’t say whether the [NRP] is bad or good,” he said.
Noranarith Anandayath, program director for the “Royalist Voice” show and a senior adviser to Prince Ranariddh, said that he welcomed the truce which Sam Rainsy proposed to him during a meeting last week.
“The NRP and SRP have the same tendencies, we should have a mutual understanding not to attack each other in the media,” he said. “The CPP wants us to attack each other.”
The rhetoric on the party’s programs has been softer this week compared to previous weeks.
Late last month, the SRP shot down Prince Ranariddh’s mass movement idea, with SRP-affiliated media saying that the prince, now in exile, was merely desperate for a means to return. The NRP, for its part, responded with attacks saying that Sam Rainsy was betraying the nation and hinted at collusion between the SRP leader and Prime Minister Hun Sen.
CPP National Assembly First Vice President Nguon Nhel said that the apparent warming of relations between the two opposition parties was of little concern to his party.
“Sam Rainsy and Prince Norodom Ranariddh always split following the formation of any alliance,” he said.
The CPP is long used to other parties joining to criticizing it, but that has not affected the ruling party’s popularity at the ballot box, he added.
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