Prince Chakravuth Puts Funcinpec Back on Tracks

Prince Norodom Chakravuth has been presiding the party for more than a year. Photo: Lay Sopheavotey

PHNOM PENH – The royalist Funcinpec Party made an unexpected comeback after winning five seats at the National Assembly in the July 23 national elections.

It is the first time in 10 years the party managed to elect Members of Parliament in the lower chamber. Once a powerhouse and rival to Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), Funcinpec has long suffered from internal fighting.

According to preliminary results of the National Election Committee (NEC), Funcinpec won 9.2 percent of the votes in the election, which grants it at least five of the 125 seats at stake.

It won one from each of the following provinces and capital: Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kampong Thom, Prey Veng and Kandal, said the party’s Spokesperson Nheun Raden.

It will be the only opposition party represented in the National Assembly, facing the ruling CPP which the 120 remaining seats.

While official results are yet to be announced, Raden said he hopes the party can still win one or two more seats with the counting of the ballots still ongoing.

Raden attributes these good results to Prince Norodom Chakravuth, who has been presiding the party for more than a year. He replaced his late father, Norodom Ranariddh, who died in 2021. Ranariddh was nominated co-Prime Minister (along with Hun Sen) following the 1993 election.

Raden said Chakravuth has captured the hearts of the people and restored the royalist party.

“Only a bit over a year after he [Chakravuth] took the party’s presidency, its popularity exploded,” said Raden. “We’re still waiting for the final results to be published, but we are proud of Funcinpec.”

The spokesman added that the prince has been able to reunite the royalists and eliminate old divisions within the party. He also made people understand the true value of the monarchy.

“He is a key player in ensuring the party’s sustainability. He has really captured the hearts of the people which brought more support for the Funcinpec,” he said.

The last time the party won an election date back to 2008, when two Funcinpec MPs were elected.

Five years later, only two parties won seats in the National Assembly, with the CPP winning 68 seats and the former Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP), 55 seats.

However, after the forced dissolution of the CNRP by the Supreme Court in 2017, the party’s seats were split based on the results of the 2013 election, which granted Funcinpec 41 seats.

A few months later though, the CPP won all 125 seats in the country’s 6th national election, in 2018.


Originally written in Khmer for ThmeyThmey, this story was translated by Torn Chanritheara for Cambodianess.

Related Articles