King Norodom Sihamoni has appointed Keo Puth Rasmey as a new member of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia (CCC), replacing Prince Norodom Sirivudh whose tenure is due to end.
The CCC consists of nine members, each three of whom are appointed by the King, the National Assembly and the Supreme Council of Magistracy.
The normal mandate of the members is nine years, but a third of its members are replaced every three years. For the first mandate, three members are appointed for a term of three, six, and nine years respectively.
A Royal Decree signed by the King on May 9, but only circulated on Wednesday, confirmed the appointment of Puth Rasmey.
Last year, the former deputy prime minister was conferred The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star from the Japanese government, for his contribution to strengthening relationships and promoting friendship between Cambodia and Japan.
Besides Puth Rasmey, the Appeal Court’s Ly Vouch Leng will also take a seat in the upcoming term, CCC member and spokesperson Min Sean told The Post on Wednesday.
“I am not aware of the other candidate, because nothing has been officially released yet.”
Sean noted that three members of the council, including himself, are due to end their tenure after serving for the last nine years. “Three people are out, while another three are getting in.
The inauguration ceremony for the new members, Sean added, will take place in mid-June, coinciding with a meeting to summarise the CCC’s accomplishments for the last three years.
Commenting on the matter, sociopolitical analyst Lao Mong Hay said any appointment that is not based on merit could not guarantee independence, constitutionality and respect for human rights. He noted that such an appointment took democracy out of a political regime.
Functioning since June 15, 1998, the CCC is a supreme institution stipulated in the 1993 Constitution to guarantee the respect of the Constitution, to interpret the Constitution and the laws adopted by the National Assembly and be completely reviewed by the Senate.
It is also responsible for examining and deciding on litigations related to the elections of the members of the National Assembly and to the elections of the senators.
The president of the CCC is elected by a college of nine councillors at the absolute majority every three years after every three new members come into the office.
Members of the CCC must be dignitaries with the following conditions: Cambodian citizens by birth, at least 45 years of age, must have at least 15 years of professional experiences and must possess a degree of higher education in the areas of law, administration,diplomacy or economics.