The National Assembly will likely convene Thursday to vote on whether to confirm the appointments of 10 new government officials, including a deputy prime minister, a senior minister and eight secretaries of state, officials said Sunday.
CPP lawmaker and Assembly standing committee member Cheam Yeap said by telephone that the committee will meet Tuesday to officially schedule the Thursday session.
Among the 10 appointees are former RCAF Commander in Chief Ke Kim Yan, who was selected to be deputy prime minister in charge of drug affairs; former Funcinpec deputy secretary-general Serei Kosal, who will become senior minister in charge of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s special envoys; former Human Rights Party leader Keo Remy, who has received an appointment as a secretary of state with the Council of Ministers; and former SRP lawmaker Ahmad Yahya, who will be made a secretary of state with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Cheam Yeap said.
Keo Remy, Serei Kosal and Ahmad Yahya have all defected to the CPP.
Serei Kosal said he had heard that he will receive an appointment, but that he hadn’t received any official confirmation yet.
“If it is real, I am excited that Prime Minister Hun Sen and CPP trust me,” he said. “I will try my best to work for the country.”
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said the government shouldn’t appoint any more officials, as there are already more than enough senior officials in the executive branch.
“The country’s economy is declining; if we increase the government’s officials, we need to spend more money,” he said.
He added that Ke Kim Yan’s appointment is redundant because there is already the National Authority for Combating Drugs, adding that the appointment is only aimed at resolving an internal CPP dispute.
Cheam Yeap said the appointments would have little effect on the national budget because some of the appointees already receive government salaries.
“There is a small effect, but the government needs them to work,” he said.