Cham Prasidh Reclaims Job

One month after abruptly re­signing, Cham Prasidh has again assumed the post of com­merce minister, senior government officials said Thursday.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said the CPP and the Council of Ministers decided two days ago to reinstate Cham Pra­sidh. Cham Prasidh also will re­sume his position on the CPP’s central committee but the party won’t let him reclaim the National Assembly seat he abandoned when he resigned in August, Khieu Kanharith said.

Cham Prasidh’s secretary said he had returned after a trip to Bangkok but he could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Council of Ministers spokes­man Khieu Thavika said the com­merce minister would re­sume his duties “soon.”

Although Khieu Kanharith had said last month the party hoped Cham Prasidh would return, officials on Thursday said Cham Pra­sidh had initiated the dialogue and the government had agreed.

“He was sorry for his previous decision [to resign],” said Council of Ministers Secretary of State Sum Manith.

Cham Prasidh, 47, was said to be coveting the finance minister position in the next government. His resignation was widely be­lieved to have stemmed from a CPP decision that the post would go to someone else.

Officials interviewed Thursday declined to comment on Cham Prasidh’s reasons for resigning. One Asian diplomat said his re­turn indicated that a rift in the party had been healed and that “cooler heads had prevailed.”


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