Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM to overhaul council



PM to overhaul council

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to garment workers in Takeo in March. Facebook

PM to overhaul council

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday announced his intention to overhaul the Council of Ministers, referred to in the Constitution as the “royal government”, by eliminating the position of secretary of state.

According to Article 118 of the Constitution, “The Council of Ministers is the Royal Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The Council of Ministers shall be headed by a Prime Minister, assisted by Deputy Prime Ministers as well by Senior Ministers, Ministers and Secretaries of State as members.”

Speaking at a graduation ceremony, Hun Sen said he plans to eliminate or reduce the number of secretaries of state, keeping only the ministers, senior ministers and deputy prime ministers, who are the members of the government he leads.

Acknowledging that the royal government has too many bureaucratic layers, Hun Sen said the government would first need to amend the Constitution.

“[T]he 1993 Constitution required the secretary of state to be the member of the government. In fact, the secretary of state is not responsible to the National Assembly and the prime minister [but] only the minister who is the head of the institution,” Hun Sen said.

He said during the drafting of the Constitution in 1993, the framers saw a need to placate a large of number of people representing several different groups and parties. One way to achieve this was by having a bloated senior government.

“When they were setting up the government, they saw hundreds of positions that needed to be available. That’s why we need to amend the Constitution by removing [secretary of state from] members of the royal government,” the prime minister said, adding that changes would be made after July 29’s national elections.

Sam Rainsy, the exiled former president of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, which won 45 percent of the votes in the last national elections, said a government led by his party would have been slashed to a tenth of its current size. He added that the current structure allows for too much corruption.

Political analyst Cham Bun Thet expressed confidence that Prime Minister Hun Sen would be able to implement his reform plan, and that having fewer people in the royal government would make it more effective. This would benefit the nation, the government and the ruling party as well.

“There are a lot of things in the past [Hun Sen] has accomplished. So, I don’t think this would be a difficult thing for him to do,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration