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Constitutional Council Named

Constitutional Council Named

Cambodian head of state King Norodom Sihanouk has issued a decree naming three high-ranking

officials to represent the palace on the country's Constitutional Council.

The decree was issued by Sihanouk in Beijing and dated Dec. 26 but released in Phnom

Penh on Dec. 27.

The nine-person council was approved under the terms of the constitution and is charged

with reviewing the legality of laws passed by the Cambodian National Assembly.

All three men are veteran Cambodian politicians who served under Sihanouk in the

60s and later during his period in exile after the Washington-backed Lon Nol coup

in 1970.

The other six committee members will be drawn from the National Assembly and Supreme

Justice Council.

"They have considerable experience of Sihanouk's government in the 60s, the

resistance and the State of Cambodia," said one palace official.

The officials are Nhiek Tioulong, a former foreign minister and army general in the

Sihanouk government of the 60s, Chausen Cocsal Chhum, a former Sihanouk era National

Assembly President and more recently a member of the now defunct Supreme National

Council before being replaced by the current Finance Minister, Sam Rainsy.

The third member is Pung Peng Cheng, an ex-Cabinet Chief during the 70s who quit

over a disagreement with Sihanouk after the monarch joined forces with the Khmer

Rouge guerrillas in 1982.

In the late 80s Cheng joined sides with Prime Minister Hun Sen's Hanoi-installed

government better known as the State of Cambodia. - Reuters

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