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PM Says Constitutional Amendment Applies Only to Top Office Bearers

Phnom Penh: Prime Minister Hun Sen has emphasised that the constitutional amendment currently before the National Assembly will apply only to the nation’s top four office bearers and will not affect any other serving member of government in the kingdom. He made the comment on Monday on the Facebook page of a Cambodian living abroad who frequently comments on Cambodian politics.

Chetra Angkully Mear Keo had taken to Facebook to draw attention to the fact that His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni had granted permission for the amendments to proceed after receiving a letter from the Constitutional Council. Chetra posted that the King's letter to the Prime Minister “had dashed opposition leaders' hopes that the King would not recognize the amendment”.

In his comment on the post, the Prime Minister stated that, “The pace of the process does not take long because the statement and the letter of the Prime Minister have already reached the parliament. This is (in) the long-term interests of the nation, if they truly love the nation, they are not afraid to give up foreign nationality to serve the Khmer nation as Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly, President of the Senate and President of the Constitutional Council. The amendment has kept the door open for people of two or more nationalities to work. Therefore, people of many nationalities have nothing to lose, except for the person who aspires to the top four positions, especially the position of Prime Minister, which someone has been wanting for more than 20 years, but they could not get it because of breaking their own leg and the last special post was ‘Good bye Prime Minister!’”

The ”Draft Law on Amendments to the Constitution and Additional Constitutions Concerning the Determination of One Khmer Nationality for Leaders of Top Institutions, including the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate, the Prime Minister and the President of the Constitutional Council” was fully approved by the Council of Ministers last Friday morning and has now been forwarded to the National Assembly, in line with procedure. The Standing Committee will consider the amendments on Thursday, before forwarding them onto the Expert Committee. Once it has looked at the amendments they will be put to the National Assembly for a vote, where a two-thirds majority will be needed in order for the amendments to the constitution to be approved. It is understood that vote will happen towards the end of October.

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