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Supreme Consultative Council Continues under New Administration

PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Manet officially reinstituted the Supreme Consultative Council (SCC) for his inaugural term. The council was formed by former PM Hun Sen in 2018 to give a voice to multiple political parties after his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) gained total control of the government that year.

In the first Cabinet meeting under the new administration on August 24, the new prime minister agreed that the government would continue to implement the SCC which, according to the press release, will maintain a vibrant environment for all political parties registered at the Ministry of Interior. The council's stated mission is to collect input and ideas from various political parties to benefit nation-building.

The Supreme Consultative Council was established by former Prime Minister Hun Sen in 2018, after the CPP swept the election and won all 125 seats in the National Assembly in addition to all seats in the Senate. He said the SCC was established to give a voice to Cambodia’s other parties, however, the council has faced criticism from social observers who say it is purely performative without any real power. It was accused of being inactive when it comes to important issues affecting the political parties’ constituents and seen as a move to legitimize the one-party dominance of the CPP.

 In late July, the former prime minister defended the council as a means of developing the country in the spirit of national unity. He also said it would be up to Prime Minister Hun Manet to decide who would be allowed a seat at the table. It is unclear if the major opposition Candlelight Party, who was denied entry into this year’s election, will be joining the SCC.

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