King Norodom Sihamoni has signed a royal decree establishing the Consultation Forum as well as verifying the retirement of 105 government officials from 25 different ministries, a document dated August 27 and seen by The Post on Sunday said.
The Act makes the group’s status official and appoints 30 members. The group has been trumpeted under the banner of creating a culture of dialogue in the country after the July 29 national election was swept by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP).
Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovan Vathana who is now a member of the Consultation Forum, said members would be able to give advice on and draft policies as well as monitor the implementation of laws at national and sub-national levels.
He said the degree of effectiveness of the group will largely depend on the willingness of the government.
“I cannot assess now because we have not started working yet, but we will try with the best of our ability to serve the people,” he said.
Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros said despite criticism of the group, people should wait and judge them on their actions.
“The expense is real, but the benefit is the ability to serve the people. For example, more than 7,000 families have land that was violated.
“If I or another member of the council has no rights, the people will need to go directly to the relevant ministry or the courts for help. If they have me, I can go directly to them.
People need to consider between using the national budget and the benefit to them,” Sros said.