Parliamentary leaders from both the ruling party and the opposition will be allotted nine paid advisers and assistants and given the use of a vehicle to assist them in their work, the CPP and CNRP agreed on Friday.
During a meeting at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Interior Minister Sar Kheng and CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha also agreed that both parties’ parliamentary delegations would receive an annual funding package, although they did not say where the money would come from.
Mr. Kheng is the leader of the CPP’s parliamentary delegation, while Mr. Sokha is the acting leader of the CNRP delegation.
“We had an in-depth discussion about mechanisms and means for leaders of political parties at the National Assembly—that they should include budgets, assistants, advisers and means of transportation and a working place,” said Cheang Vun, the spokesman for the CPP parliamentary delegation, after the meeting.
The two parties also agreed on a budget for the majority and minority groups, based on the number of seats each party holds in the assembly, he said, without going into detail about how much money would be allotted or whether it would come from the national budget. He said that use of the funds would be subject to the approval of the National Assembly’s Permanent Committee.
“And this money cannot be spent improperly since it will be used in accordance with the project, and the Permanent Committee will review and decide whether or not the money can be used under the framework of the internal rules,” Mr. Vun said.
Mr. Kheng and exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy were named the leaders of the CPP and CNRP parliamentary delegations in January last year, taking up positions created in talks between Mr. Rainsy and Prime Minister Hun Sen in November 2014.
However, Mr. Sokha took over the role when Mr. Rainsy failed to return to Cambodia after a warrant was issued for his arrest in November over an old defamation conviction.
Both Mr. Vun and CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith said that Mr. Rainsy’s status was not discussed during the meeting.
“These are separate issues,” Mr. Ponhearith said.