The National Assembly on Friday voted to select the makeup of five of the Assembly’s nine commissions, leaving the opposition Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties out of the legislative bodies.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Sunday that the ruling party offered to give a few commission spots to the opposition, but that those parties had declined the offer.
The commissions—which cover areas as diverse as human rights, national defense and rural development—were originally intended to contain nine lawmakers, Cheam Yeap said, but these first five commissions have only seven members. There was still some chance that the commissions would receive extra members, he said, but it is unlikely that such an expansion would mean the inclusion of opposition lawmakers.
“It is too late for the SRP,” he said.
SRP Deputy Secretary-General Mu Sochua said Sunday that her party had refused to put names forward for positions on the commissions because it was dissatisfied with the breakdown of responsibilities within the Assembly. The SRP has maintained that its 26 Assembly seats means that it should chair at least two of the commissions.
Mu Sochua said her party would not put forward any names for the remaining four commissions, which are scheduled to be voted on this week, but, she added, the party still hopes to secure some positions within the legislature following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Sept 24 promise to recognize the role of the opposition in the Assembly.
Cheam Yeap, however, said that the premier’s promise only meant that opposition lawmakers would secure extra funding to carry out the duties of their office.
The Norodom Ranariddh Party walked away with a single commission post, with Prey Veng lawmaker Sao Rany becoming a member of the interior and defense commission. One of Funcinpec’s two lawmakers is likely to receive a commission position, with Sem Soly of Kompong Thom nominated for a post on the public works commission, to be voted on this week.
Funcinpec lawmaker and Deputy Prime Minister Nhiek Bun Chhay and the NRP’s only other lawmaker, You Hockry, did not put their names forward as potential commission appointees, according to Assembly Deputy Secretary-General Hul Buntha.