Prince Mulls Replacing Absent Funcinpec MPs

After the Thursday morning coffee break, so many members of the National Assem­bly were missing that the legislative body no longer had a quorum.

The 122-member assembly needs 86 members present to conduct business. Only 86 were there in the morning, so when  two departed at the break business came to a halt.

The two guilty lawmakers were Som Kim Suor, a CPP member who was suffering from a sore leg, and Yim Sokha of the Sam Rainsy Party, who gave no reason for leaving.

National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh has urged ministers to attend the sessions. One problem is that senior ministers of both major parties often are busy with ministerial work and don’t attend.

Sam Rainsy, opposition party leader, is often away on fund-raising trips abroad.

The prince seems willing to lead by example. “We should consider removing senior ministers in [Funcinpec] because they are busy with government work,” he told fellow party members.

Funcinpec lawmakers who are also senior ministers include You Hockry, co-minister of Interior; Hong Sun Huot, minister of health; and Veng Sereyvuth, minister of tourism.

CPP parliamentarians include Cabinet Minister Sok An, Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and Defense Minister Tea Banh.

The prince said it was up to the CPP to decide what to do about its no-show members.

, but that he will be thinking seriously about asking Funcinpec members to resign their seats if they cannot attend.



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