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.
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.
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.
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