F’pec Declines to Share Its Commission Seats

The National Assembly’s Per­ma­nent Committee has finalized its decision to exclude Sam Rain­sy Party members from the As­sembly’s nine commissions, rendering the opposition virtually powerless to change draft laws, a senior CPP official said Tuesday.

Chan Ven, the Assembly’s de­puty secretary-general, said the committee made its decision  Mon­day, offering parliamentary commission positions to only Funcinpec and CPP lawmakers.

Under the arrangement, he said, the CPP would chair five of the nine commissions, while Fun­cinpec would chair the remaining four. In each commission, there will be four CPP members and three Funcinpec members, Chan Ven added.

The Assembly commissions are responsible for debating and revising draft laws. Without any positions in the commissions and no government posts, the Sam Rain­sy Party will have little influence on the revisions of draft laws.

Chan Ven declined to comment on why the opposition party was left out. He said the Assem­bly will formally vote to approve the commissions during the next parliamentary session, scheduled for Thursday.

Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang criticized the move to exclude his party, saying it was an “abuse of the democratic process.”

“The CPP and Funcinpec parties don’t respect the democratic principle,” he said. “They should share the positions [with] the op­position party.”

Last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would allow the opposition to join the com­missions so long as Fun­cinpec ap­proved.

On Tuesday, Funcinpec Depu­ty Secretary-General Ok Socheat said he was not aware of the Per­manent Committee’s decision.

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