Cambodian Prince Hospitalised After Car Crash

Howard TerryJun 19, 2018

According to Mr Savy, the prince and his wife were travelling in a BMW along with a motorcade consisting of other party senior members to meet their supporters in Preah Sihanouk province when the crash occurred.

Both Ranariddh and his wife were in the fray for Cambodia's general elections, which is scheduled for July 29.

Maj Gen Narin said that Prince Ranariddh's wife Ouk Phalla died around 12:20 pm in the province's hospital due to her serious injury, Khmer Times reported.

Khmer Times quoted Yim Savy, Funcinpec secretary general, as saying that the Prince Ranariddh would be sent overseas for medical treatment. Seven people were reported injured. Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni is Ranariddh's half brother.

Fresh News, a news agency close to the government, also reported that Ranariddh had been taken to Thailand.

Nhep Bun Chin, a FUNCINPEC spokesman, said Ranariddh's condition had improved, but declined to confirm his evacuation to Bangkok.

Hun Sen, the prime minister who has been in power for 33 years, has crushed dissent leading up to the election, ensuring an expected resounding victory for his ruling Cambodian People's Party.

His royal background made him popular despite having a strained relationship with his father.

He was ousted in July 1997 and fled overseas when long-simmering tensions between him and Hun Sen exploded into two days of bitter fighting in Phnom Penh between his forces and those loyal to Hun Sen. He slid into political irrelevancy, as FUNCINPEC became co-opted by Hun Sen, a much more savvy and tougher politician than Ranariddh.

Last year, the country's main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), was dissolved and its leader was charged with treason.

Prince Ranariddh, a former prime minister and half-brother of the current king Norodom Sihamoni, suffered "some broken ribs" and leg injuries, Yim Savy, the secretary-general of the Funcinpec party, told AFP.

Ms Phalla was a classical Cambodian dancer, reportedly descended from a separate royal branch, and was the prince's second wife.

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