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Party leaders agree on entitlements

Interior Minister Sar Kheng and CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha shake hands after yesterday’s meeting.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng and CNRP deputy leader Kem Sokha shake hands after yesterday’s meeting. Heng Chivoan

Party leaders agree on entitlements

Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy leader Kem Sokha is set to reclaim entitlements he lost when he was sacked as National Assembly vice president following a meeting yesterday with Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

CPP spokesman Chheang Vun said that during the hour-long meeting it was agreed that both the majority and minority leaders in the National Assembly should receive the use of a state vehicle.

Money should also be allocated to each for a staff of nine – advisers, assistants and a cabinet chief – an office and a meeting room, it was decided.

Sokha is currently the acting minority party leader while in the absence of CNRP president Sam Rainsy; Kheng is the majority party leader.

Vun said the two leaders needed to have transport because they had important roles in the assembly. Leaders in similar positions in other countries such as France, Germany and Australia also had state cars.

“Therefore, it’s necessary we should follow them because we live in a democratic country that is not different to them,” he said.

The plight of 15 CNRP party activists and officials currently jailed was not addressed during the sit-down.The “problems of individuals” were not on the agenda, Vun said. “We can talk about it later.”

CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith said the agreement was made to strengthen the culture of dialogue between the two parties so they could work together.

“For example, when there is a new draft law coming into the National Assembly, there will be more room for wider discussion within the two parties,” Ponhearith said.

He confirmed there was no discussion about any of the of other causes of conflict between the two parties.

“In the discussion we didn’t talk about the reinstatement of Kem Sokha as vice president or who else could take the job, or about jailed senator Hong Sok Hour,” he said.

The National Assembly in October voted to strip Sokha of the position of vice president of the parliament – and his entitlements – in response to a “citizens proposal”. The two parties will meet again next month.

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