King Norodom Sihamoni has issued a sub-decree ending the tenures of government advisers and assistants from the previous mandate, a royal decree issued on Thursday and obtained by The Post said.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan confirmed the issuance of the decree. The incumbent adviser and assistant positions – appointed in the previous mandate – must be concluded before a new government is formed.
“I am not sure how many [advisers and assistants] would be reappointed or go into retirement. The current ones, from the [previous] 5th mandate, must have their positions terminated, and we will look further into it as new ones are appointed for the new government,” Siphan said.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability-Cambodia executive director San Chey said such terminations were not uncommon.
He noted that such advisers are usually appointed for a single mandate. The positions must be concluded as the mandate ends. He said they can always be reappointed as long as they have not reached retirement age.
“[But] we see there are too many advisers. I wonder to what degree they can provide support for their leaders.”
Chey said some people want to be advisers just for the title, noting the privileges that come with being addressed as “His Excellency”. For instance, reduced jail sentences for anyone bestowed with the title.
The decree orders to “terminate the positions of advisers and assistants to the prime minister, deputy prime minister, ministers attached to the prime minister; advisers and assistants to the cabinet of deputy prime minister; advisers and assistants to all senior leaders in all ministries and institutions; and advisers and assistants attached to ministries and institutions which were appointed by royal decree prior to 6 September 2018.
Any laws that oppose this royal decree would be considered void.”