Son Soubert Named to Constitutional Council

King Norodom Sihanouk has appointed Son Soubert to the Constitutional Council in place of his father, Son Sann, who re­signed last week. 

A royal decree dated Monday appointed the deputy president of the National Assembly and leader of the Son Sann Party to the nation’s top legal body. Son Soubert has stepped down as party president in order to take up the post, Son Sann Party officials said Thursday.

“Working with him is fine for me,” Constitutional Coun­cil Presi­dent Chan Sok said.

He would not comment on Son Sann’s resignation, only to say the matter was now in the past. Son Sann had refused to attend any of the four meetings of the nine-member Council, calling the body “illegal” and complaining it was weighted in favor of the CPP.

The octogenarian politician was not the first member of the council to resign his post. Another royal appointee, Pung Peng Cheng, 81, left in June on the grounds that he was too old to carry out his duties. His re­placement, former president of the Cambodian Bar Association, Say Bory, welcomed the new appointment Thursday.

“Son Soubert has at least five year’s experience in the law in the National Assembly,” Say Bory said Thursday. “Experience is important.”

Council member Bin Chhin said preparations were under way to allow Son Soubert to be sworn in as soon as possible.

“We have waited for our members to be complete to work together for the nation,” he said.

When Son Sann agreed to become a member of the Con­stitutional Council earlier this year, he had to resign as president of the Son Sann Party. His son, Son Soubert took over as party chief. Now Son Soubert has done the same.

First deputy president Keat Sokhun is now acting as the party president until a new leader can be voted in at a party congress, secretary-general Kem Sokha said Thursday. Kem Sokha is believed to be a leading candidate for the position.

The Son Sann Party failed to win any seats in last month’s elections.

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