Cambodian Prince Returning As Royalist Party Chief

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Phnom Penh, Cambodia:  Prince Norodom Ranariddh, a former prime minister of Cambodia who was ousted in a coup and later kicked out of the political party he helped found, is seeking a comeback.

The 71-year-old said in a letter seen by The Associated Press on Friday that he accepted an invitation from the royalist Funcinpec party to reassume its presidency. It had kicked him out in 2006.

Ranariddh, a son of the late King Norodom Sihanouk, led the party to victory in UN-sponsored elections in 1993, but had to accept Hun Sen, head of the rival Cambodia People's Party, as co-prime minister. Hun Sen staged a coup against his partner in 1997.

Ranariddh's restoration is seen as a backroom maneuver by Hun Sen to split the opposition in the 2018 general election.






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