The National Assembly will convene this morning to select the members and heads of its 10 parliamentary commissions, which were divided equally between the CPP and the CNRP under the deal the two parties forged last month.
CNRP President Sam Rainsy on July 22 accepted a deal to end the opposition’s boycott of the National Assembly in exchange for a number of concessions from Prime Minister Hun Sen, including control of five commissions.
Under the deal, the ruling CPP, which controlled all of the commissions during the last mandate, will also now only control the five. Each party will have five members on the commissions it controls and four on those it does not.
CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith, who stands to be named chairman of the commission on education, religious affairs, culture and tourism, said that this scenario will see all but 10 of the party’s lawmakers elected to a position.
“For the CNRP, we have totally 45 lawmakers to be nominees for the positions as chairmen, deputy chairmen, secretaries and members of the commissions,” he said.
“The vote tomorrow will be a confidential vote that requires there to be an absolute majority vote through the method of 50 percent plus one,” Mr. Ponhearith added.
Mr. Ponhearith said that the CNRP would also nominate Eng Chhay Eang to head the commission on human rights; Pol Ham for the planning, investment and agriculture commission; Mu Sochua for public affairs, social work, and women’s affairs; and Yim Sovann for anti-corruption and investigations.
Mr. Hun Sen has publicly assured the CNRP that his party’s 68 lawmakers will vote for the opposition’s appointments as agreed under the political deal struck on July 22.
CPP spokesman Cheam Yeap could not be reached, but the party’s five commission heads from the last mandate are expected to retain their positions in today’s vote.
Without any changes to the five commissions chairmanships that the CPP retains control over, Mr. Yeap will head the economy and finance commission, Hun Neng will preside over home affairs and national defense, Chheang Vun will head foreign affairs and media, Pen Panha will oversee legislation and justice and Nin Saphon will head public works, transport, telecommunications and mining.
Mr. Vun, who is also the spokesman for the National Assembly, declined to comment on the issue.
The 10 commission heads will, along with National Assembly President Heng Samrin and two vice presidents, one of whom will be CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha, form the parliamentary standing committee, which controls the assembly’s legislative agenda and dictates its internal rules.