Prime Minister Hun Sen has moved to clarify his own role in government and to explain how individual CPP and Funcinpec ministers and deputy prime ministers should assist him, according to a directive obtained Wednesday.
Hun Sen stated in the directive, dated March 21, that he is responsible for disaster management, general leadership of the Council of Ministers, the ministries of economics and finance, and the Council for the Development of Cambodia.
Funcinpec’s Deputy Prime Minister Nhiek Bun Chhay is responsible for assisting Hun Sen with the ministries of public work and transport, as well as health, culture and tourism, the directive states.
Hun Sen told CPP Minister of Interior Sar Kheng to handle routine work in his absence, and to assist with national security, counternarcotics, human trafficking, terrorism and decentralization.
Sok An, CPP minister of the Council of Ministers, is told to assist Hun Sen in conducting investigations and providing coordination for Cambodia’s reform efforts, particularly in the judiciary.
Lu Laysreng, Funcinpec’s minister of rural development, is to assist Hun Sen in coordinating both that ministry and the ministries of women’s affairs and cult and religious affairs.
CPP Minister of Defense Tea Banh is to assist with national defense, the military police and coordinating the ministries of agriculture, social affairs, and water resources and meteorology.
Hor Namhong, the CPP’s minister of foreign affairs, is told to assist the prime minister in foreign affairs and commerce.
Hun Sen also stated that each deputy prime minister could have only four advisers and three aides.
Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said it was rather late for Hun Sen to be explaining the roles of top officials, adding that an excess of senior ministers and deputy prime ministers has brought confusion to the government’s bloated ranks.
“It is very confusing. [Officials] have overlapped each other,” he said.
Nhiek Bun Chhay said it is not excessive to have six deputy prime ministers, adding that he has been given more responsibilities following the March 2 removal of his colleague Prince Norodom Sirivudh from his position as co-minister of interior.
Also on Wednesday, a royal decree was issued to remove Funcinpec’s governor of Mondolkiri province, Thou Son, and replace him with the CPP’s Takeo deputy provincial governor Lay Sokha.