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Draft Amendment on the Law to Increase the Number of Capital-Provincial Governors is Fully Approved by the National Assembly

PHNOM PENH: The National Assembly has approved the draft law on the amendment of Article 140 of the Law on the Administration of the Capital, Provinces, Municipalities, Districts, and Communes to increase the Board of Governors of Municipalities, Districts, Communes, Provinces and Capitals, with 106 out of 106 votes.

National Assembly Spokesman, Leng Penglong, told EAC News that after receiving National Assembly approval, the law will be sent to the Senate to be passed by the Constitutional Council before then being submitted to the King for his signature. He added that there is at least one month left before this law can be put into use.

He said, "This morning, we submitted the draft law to Samdech Ponhea Chakrei to sign. We will not delay and will immediately send [the draft law to the Senate].”

The amendment to this law will increase the number of members of the board of governors for cities, districts and communes from five to seven, and increase the number of members in the provincial board of governors from seven to 11, while the number of members in the capital board of governors will be increased to 11.

The Executive Director of the Social Accountability Association, San Chey, has said that the increase in the number of members in the provincial and capital board of governors should consider the needs of those provinces or capitals. He added that this increase is not really important, and he urged to increase the number of commune council members, as communes are the local authority closest to the public.

He said, "Since the work is transferred to the sub-national administration, shifting the work from the capital to the provincial level and below, what the public notices is that this increases security, the need for administration, and skills in the commune. Because the commune is closest to the people, if the commune administration works well, it is a good thing for the people. But we see that the current commune administration does not seem to be fully qualified, we see that even the development of some commune infrastructure is still lacking."

The draft amendment was approved by the Council of Ministers on the morning of 1 April 2022 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

According to the Government Spokesman, Phay Siphan, this draft law to increase members in the board of governors was in response to decentralization and deconcentration reforms at the sub-national level, where the government has shifted the work of providing public services and local development.

After this law passes through the National Assembly and is promulgated by the King, the number of members in the board of governors for each capital, province, municipality, district and commune will be studied and reviewed.

Providing his closing remarks at the Dissemination and Implementation of the National Program for Sub-National Democratic Development, Phase 2, 2021 to 2030 on 21 March 2022, Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that the development of human resources at the sub-national level is important for Cambodia’s success and development in mitigating risks.

He said, "While the local level has been given more responsibility, we see that it is still lacking in resource, so we need to amend the law limiting the number of responsible people in the framework of provincial and district governors.”

At present, in the 25 cities and provinces of Cambodia, there are a total of 175 governors, with each provincial capital having seven board governors. While in 204 municipalities, there are 1,020 board of district governors, with each district having five governors.

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