Kem Sokha Says CNRP Supports Term Limits for Prime Ministers

CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha, who was on Tuesday elected National Assembly vice president, told reporters that the opposition party supports recent calls to impose limits on the number of terms a person can serve as prime minister.

The issue has been in the local news since civil society leaders from NGOs including Transparency International and the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia last week met in Phnom Penh to discuss the idea.

Mr. Sokha said Tuesday that the CNRP might broach term limits with the CPP after the reforms under the July 22 political agreement between the parties that saw the opposition end its yearlong boycott of the Assembly have been implemented and they can move on to other issues.

“I don’t want to raise something that we have not yet reached a compromise on,” Mr. Sokha told reporters. “But as I said, I will raise this if we can start working together well and have a mutual understanding with a good environment.”

Local media outlets such as Thmey Thmey online news and the Voice of Democracy radio service have since last week’s discussion published articles saying that former prime ministers Pen Sovann and Prince Norodom Ranariddh support the idea.

Next year, Prime Minister Hun Sen will have served in the position in some capacity for 30 consecutive years, including every five-year term since the U.N. organized elections in Cambodia in 1993.

He has vowed to stay in power well into his old age—giving varying long-term estimates of when he might retire—and has since the 1990s built a secretive and elite personal bodyguard unit based at his home in Kandal province.

Mr. Hun Sen has also since the 1990s stacked the military, national police and military police with commanders that are both loyal to him and have long-term relationships with him.

CPP spokesman Cheam Yeap could not be reached for comment on whether the CPP would be open to term limits.

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