Provincial officials to join SCC meeting next week

Taing Vida / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Premier Hun Sen will chair the meeting. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said provincial government and military officials will attend next week’s Supreme Consultative Council via online video conference so any issues raised can be directly addressed.

Speaking to thousands of garment workers in Kandal province yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said he will preside the meeting to review the SCC’s work over the last six months.

“I told Deputy Prime Minister Bin Chhin to prepare a video conference for the broadcast so people in the provinces and army bases can watch,” he said. “By doing so, provincial authorities can respond directly to the concerns and problems that the council has found.”

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Mr Hun Sen noted that the live video conference is to ensure work effectiveness and to receive inputs from relevant parties.

The SCC is tasked with giving ideas and feedback on draft laws before the Council of Ministers approve them. It is also tasked with providing comments to the Prime Minister about injustices or abuses of power by officials.

The SCC is composed of representatives of 16 political parties that contested the national election last year, in which each party has two representatives. A handful of other political parties refused to join the council.

Mam Sonando, SCC member and president of the Beehive Social Democratic Party, said he will present the issue of corruption during the meeting.

Mr Sonando said that he will highlight corruption practices in land conflicts in Kampot, Koh Kong, and Kampong Speu provinces, as well as illegal fishing in Kampong Cham and Kandal provinces.

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“I will present the problems I have found at the sub-national level to Mr Hun Sen and propose potential solutions,” he said. “I hope the inputs of what other council members and I have found will be addressed properly by the government.”

Kong Monika, president of Khmer Will Party and a member of the council, yesterday said broadcasting the meeting will bring close relations between SCC members and local authorities.

“We have done a lot of work in the provinces, but only a few people know of the council. I think a live broadcast will highly increase the value of our work,” he said. “Some local authorities did not give us some respect [during assignments] because they had no idea what the council is.”

Mr Monika said he recently found out a number of issues to present during the meeting, including irregularities at border checkpoints, abuse of indigenous people’ rights, and environmental issues, which are needed to be addressed.

Grassroots Democracy Party spokesman Loek Sothea said the government should organise additional public forums with other political parties who did not become SCC members to hear their input.

“I notice that the SCC members have actively been involved in addressing problems for people, but there are no reports about their solutions,” Mr Sothea said. “They only collect information related to the problems, but they have no power to solve it.”

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