The National Assembly (NA) has passed a number of draft laws and amendments relating to the number of members in the administrative boards of governors, food safety and a successor for the chairmanship of the NA’s 4th Commission to replace the late Hun Neng.
At its latest session, the NA passed a draft amendment of Article 140 of the Law on Administrative Management of Capital, Provinces and Districts, increasing the maximum number of members in the boards of governors from seven to 11.
An NA statement issued after the session said the amendment of Article 140 was made to reflect the current socio-economic development situation in Cambodia.
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, in his capacity as acting prime minister, defended the amendment of the article in a social media post after the meeting, saying it responded to recent decentralisation and deconcentration reform.
He added that the draft of the article sought to promote socio-economic development, improve the quality of life of communities and achieve the Kingdom’s goal of becoming an upper-middle income country by 2030.
Promulgated in 2008, Article 140 currently sets the maximum number of members on boards of governors for the capital and provinces at seven, and boards of governors for districts at five.
When the draft article is passed, the maximum number for boards of governors for Phnom Penh and provincial governors will increase to 11, while those of districts will be increased to seven, according to government spokesman Phay Siphan.
However, despite the rules stipulated in Article 140, the actual number of people serving on the board of governors for each administration will ultimately be decided by a sub-decree upon request of the interior minister – based on factors such as the number of councillors and geographic and demographic issues, Siphan said after the text of the draft was approved by the Council of Ministers in April to be put forward for a vote.
At the same meeting, the NA’s 106 lawmakers, led by president Heng Samrin, also unanimously voted for former Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema to replace the late Hun Neng – who passed away on May 5 – as chairman of the NA’s 4th Commission on Interior, National Defence and Civil Service.
Chuktema was most recently a member of the 4th Commission.
At the meeting, the NA also passed a draft law on food safety consisting of 11 chapters and 43 articles.
A key stipulation of the draft law is that food supply chain links must comply with Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures and Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement commitments, which Siphan previously acknowledged as being drivers of investment and food exports as well as encouraging equitable and fair competition.
Sar Kheng said the food safety draft law was made “to respond to trends in international trade and good practice, in order to integrate Cambodia’s economy into the region and the world.
“It will set the foundational principles [with which to prepare] safe food that follows a set standard to ensure the life and health of the people… and to contribute to poverty reduction,” he said in his Facebook post.