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PM wants new government by ‘end of August’

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National Assembly members vote in favour of the Kingdom’s budget last year in Phnom Penh. Photo supplied

PM wants new government by ‘end of August’

ON monday caretaker Prime Minister Hun Sen said he wanted a new government formed as early as the end of the month so that he will be able to speak at the UN General Assembly in New York on September 22.

Speaking at the Council of Ministers to a delegation of Cambodian athletes and officials who will represent the Kingdom at the 18th Asian Game in Indonesia from August 18 to September 2, he said forming the new government was easy for him.

“If the Council of Ministers can be established in August, make it happen – if there are no legal barriers. I’ve heard there are no complaints to the Constitutional Council, so if [the Council of Ministers] can be established in August, just do it."

“Then I’ll go to the United Nations. I’ll address the UN for you to see."

“I have already chosen the [new] government – a list has been drawn up."

“Have no doubt, there were no difficulties. The President of the Assembly was also chosen. It was nothing difficult for me."

“We already had a list, and had also outlined the political programs for a new government,” Hun Sen said.

The president of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) added that the new government would continue any policies that were not fully implemented under the previous mandate.

He said officials with the rank of under-secretary of state and upwards would be re-appointed via a new royal decree, while those from the director-general of department downwards would be appointed by sub-decree.

Without revealing the names, he said he had already listed the 30 officials who will form his new government.

Hun Sen said the first session of the new parliament is due to be held on the morning of September 19, with the first meeting of the Council of Ministers set for September 21.

“But if the Council of Ministers can also be formed in August we will do so – if [the process] is not hindered by law, although it [seems unlikely enough that complaints will] go to the Constitutional Council,” he said.

‘Preliminary list’

He was referring to possible complaints that could be filed against the election results by political parties that took part in the July 29 polls.

According to the election schedule, the National Election Committee will reveal the preliminary results of the elections this Saturday, while the official results will be announced the following Wednesday.

Between August 15 and September 10, the 125 seats in the National Assembly will be allocated to parties according to their share of the vote.

However, according to leaked CPP documents, the ruling party is set to win all seats in parliament.

High-ranking CPP officials who were contacted said they did not know who was shortlisted to make up the prospective government.

Council of Ministers spokesperson Phay Siphan said that, as of this juncture, only Hun Sen knew who was on the list.

“So far, I believe that Samdech [Hun Sen] has written a preliminary list of who will take up which post. By the time the list goes before parliament it may be different,” he said.

Political analyst Meas Ny said according to law, the transition between outgoing and incoming governments should take place at the latest 60 days after election day. But because the CPP was set to lead the new government, he said it was unlikely there would be major delays.

“The new government could be formed next week if [Hun Sen] wanted because [he is in a position to do so]. The only concern is that if we don’t wait, the [procedure could stray] from what is stated in the Constitution,” he said.

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