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.