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Congress articles not necessary: Hun Sen

Congress articles not necessary: Hun Sen

PRIME Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that he hopes to have removed from the Constitution any references to the National Congress, an annual meeting designed to bolster government transparency that has never been convened.

The National Congress is described in Articles 147, 148 and 149 of the Constitution as an annual meeting that would allow the public to receive information from officials on government initiatives. According to the Constitution, the National Congress should be held each December.  

When the Constitution was drafted, it was expected that the National Congress would adopt recommendations that would then be forwarded to the Senate, the National Assembly and the executive branch.

Speaking Wednesday at the inauguration of a pagoda in Takeo province's Tram Kok district, Hun Sen said the ruling Cambodian People's Party already receives enough input from parliamentarians and does not need to convene the National Congress to stay in touch with the people.

Hun Sen said the CPP would have no trouble amending the Constitution to eliminate references to the National Congress, a move he said would require a simple majority vote in the National Assembly.

Hun Sen also said that if he were to convene a National Congress, he would only invite CPP supporters.

Opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay spoke out against the proposed amendment of the Constitution, saying he believes the public would benefit from the convening of a National Congress. 

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