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Lawmakers vote to up committees’ numbers

Prime Minister Hun Sen, Interior Minister Sar Kheng (front row)and other members of the ruling party vote in favour of controversial legal amendments in the National Assembly earlier this month.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, Interior Minister Sar Kheng (front row)and other members of the ruling party vote in favour of controversial legal amendments in the National Assembly earlier this month. AFP

Lawmakers vote to up committees’ numbers

The National Assembly’s Permanent Committee voted to increase the number of members in each of the assembly’s 10 sector-specific committees, a move a parliamentary spokesman said was necessitated by the opposition’s constant boycotting of meetings.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Permanent Committee decided to add two seats to each of the groups, taking membership to a total of 11 for each committee. Following the CNRP’s months long boycott of the Assembly in 2013, the CPP and CNRP decided to each chair five of the committees as part of a political deal reached in 2014.

“Because of the current political developments in the Kingdom of Cambodia, we decided to increase the effective [members] of each committee to the National Assembly,” the short statement reads.

The two parties will add one member each in the hope it would help get quorum for meetings, according to National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long, who said the CNRP’s continued boycott of proceedings made the move necessary.

“It slows the process when CNRP lawmakers are the chairperson of the committee and they boycott with political motives,” he said.

The CNRP’s Mao Monyvann said the party only boycotted votes on controversial legislation, adding chief whip Son Chhay was working to submit 10 new members for the committees.

“We boycott only the laws that affect the process of democracy, like the four amendments to election laws,” he said, referring to legislative changes that will automatically redistribute the CNRP’s Assembly seats among minor parties in the event of its dissolution.

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