Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CPP adds eight to top echelon

CPP adds eight to top echelon

CPP adds eight to top echelon

After rare glimpses of CPP disunity in July 2004, and again last month,

political observers are taking note of eight new members elected to the

Cambodian People's Party (CPP) top level Standing Committee.

The vote

took place on January 28 and 29 at the CPP's party congress and gives the

appointees a say in high-level decisions such as the party's candidate for prime

minister in 2008 and future strategy.

One western diplomat told the Post

the new members are all loyal to Prime Minister Hun Sen. However, another

international observer said CPP sources had described the new members as evenly

split between the party's two major factions.

The new members increase

the Standing Committee from 20 to 28 people. The new Standing Committee members

of the CPP are:

H.E. Chea Chanto

Born on Oct. 9, 1951, Chanto studied

economics at the Univ. of Phnom Penh. He left Phnom Penh in 1975 and later

earned a Ph.D. in economics in Vietnam. After a career in banking, he became

Dep. Min. of Planning in the PRK, becoming minister in 1989. He was a member of

the Central Committee of the PRPK and of its successor, the CPP. In 1993, he was

appointed Min. of Planning, and was elected to the National Assembly in Kampong

Thom province. Chanto is currently Governor of the National Bank of


H.E. Cheam Yeap

Born in 1946, Yeap graduated

from the Fac. of Pedagogy and worked as a high school teacher from 1967 to 1975.

He fled to Vietnam in 1977, returning in 1979. He chaired the People's Committee

of Prey Veng from 1981 to 1986, representing the province in the National

Assembly from 1981 to 1993. In 1989 he was appointed Dep. Min. in the office of

the Council of Ministers with responsibility for tourism. Elected to National

Assembly in 1993 and 1998 from Prey Veng. He was elected to the CPP Central

Committee in the early 1990s.

H.E. Chhay


Than was appointed head of the Taxation Dept. at the Min. of Finance in

1981. By 1986 he was Minister of Finance, a post he held until 1993. He was a

full member of the Central Committee of the PRPK by 1989. He was elected in

Takeo province on the CPP list in 1993 but resigned to become Asst. Sec. of

State in the Min. of Economy and Finance. He later became secretary of state,

then Min. of Planning in 1998. He is currently Minister of Planning, after

re-election in 2003.

H.E. Ek Sam


Born in 1944, Sam Ol has a degree in Khmer literature and was sec-gen. of

the Fac. of Arts in Phnom Penh from 1970 to 1975. He was forced to the

countryside during the DK period, and in 1980 he founded the Assoc. of Cambodian

Intellectuals. From 1985 to 1993 he was Deputy Min. of Education, then was

elected to the National Assembly on the CPP list from Prey Veng. In 1997 he was

elected to the CPP Central Committee, and is currently a member of the National


H.E. Khuon Sudary

Born in 1951, Sudary was a

high school English teacher before being forced to the countryside during the

Democratic Kampuchea period. From 1985 she worked on the Communist Party

newspaper Pracheachon. By 1998 she had succeeded Som Kimsuor as editor-in-chief,

by which time the paper had become the official organ of the post-communist CPP.

A member of the CPP, she was elected to the National Assembly representing

Kandal province in 1998, and remains in that position.

H.E. Ouk


Born in 1951, Rabun graduated from the Faculty of Pedagogy in 1972. He

earned a PhD in economics in 1990 from the Univ. of National Economy, Vietnam.

In 1981, he was appointed director of the Dept. of General Planning, Min. of

Planning. He became vice-minister of the Min. of Planning in 1986, and in 1990

named vice-minister of the Min. of Commerce. In 1993, he was reelected to the

National Assembly in Kampong Chhnang, and was a member of the Finance

Commission. Sec. of State, Min. of Economy and Finance since


H.E Pen Panha

Born in 1941, Panha trained as a

veterinarian and headed the veterinary department of the Phnom Penh municipality

before 1975. He spent the Democratic Kampuchea period in the countryside. He

became editor of Kampuchea in 1982 and assistant editor of Pracheachon in 1986.

From 1998 to 2003 he served as vice-minister of agriculture. Elected deputy for

Prey Veng, he was vice-president of the Commission for Economics, Planning,

Investment, Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment from


H.E. Som Kimsuor

Born in 1949, Kimsour endured manual

work in the countryside during the Democratic Kampuchea period. She was

appointed deputy director-general of the "Voice of Kampuchea People" radio in

1979. She was elected in 1981 to the People's Republic of Kampuchea National

Assembly representing Kampot province. She was president of the Association of

Journalists of Kampuchea, and was reelected to the Nat'l Assembly in both 1993

and 1998. Kimsuor has been secretary of state at the Ministry of Women's Affairs

since 2003.