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PM promises to keep deal

The National Assembly will hold a session next Tuesday to elect internal leadership positions according to an agreement made by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party on July 22 that saw the CNRP join the assembly, Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday.

Speaking at the Peace Palace, the premier said his party’s lawmakers would fulfil their promise to vote in CNRP officials as the first deputy parliamentary president and the heads of five commissions. “Some of His Excellencies and Her Excellencies speak about deadlock. I am not in deadlock. What deadlock? I have gone on working forever,” he told an audience that included government officials and representatives of the international community.

“But I would like to send a message that there will be a vote next Tuesday … and please do not worry, the Cambodian People’s Party will fulfil its promise by voting for the candidates from the National Rescue Party.”

CPP lawmaker Nhem Thavy said the 12 current permanent committee members of the assembly will meet on Friday to prepare Tuesday’s agenda.

He also confirmed that while five commissions will be headed by each party, the deputy chair of each commission will be given to the party that does not hold the chair.

“It is good. This is equal power in the parliament,” he said.

Senior CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said that while a Tuesday session was the plan, it could not yet be considered official as the opposition’s 55 lawmakers were yet to receive an invitation.

While Sochua declined to comment on who would take what position, a party source previously leaked that she would head the commission on health care, social and veterans’ affairs, youth rehabilitation, labour, vocational training and women’s affairs.

Other leaked names tapped for commission and leadership posts are lawmakers Yim Sovann, Eng Chhay Eang, Pol Ham and Yem Ponharith, slated to take the other four CNRP commissions, and deputy CNRP head Kem Sokha, set to be first deputy president of parliament.

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