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Advisers to Sokha out after ouster

Kem Sokha speaks during a press conference in the capital earlier this year.
Kem Sokha speaks during a press conference in the capital earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

Advisers to Sokha out after ouster

More than 20 parliamentary staffers are out of a job after the removal of opposition deputy leader Kem Sokha as the parliament’s first vice president.

According to a decree by King Norodom Sihamoni, dated November 26 but obtained yesterday, the positions of 16 advisers and seven assistants, assigned when Sokha became the National Assembly’s vice president, were terminated.

Sokha was stripped of the position by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in a legally dubious vote on October 29.

He copped some criticism when assigned the team last year, with questions over why he needed so many paid staffers.

However, Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Son Chhay yesterday said Sokha’s team paled in comparison to those enjoyed by National Assembly President Heng Samrin and Second Vice President Nguon Nhel, who, he said, had nearly 100 himself.

Chhay said such spending was wasteful and lacked transparency.

“And, strangely, some lawmakers are advisers too . . . They get a lawmaker’s salary and adviser’s salary,” he added, declining to reveal those pocketing the double pay.

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