The Supreme Consultative Council has blasted supporters of the former opposition CNRP and unscrupulous government officials for devaluing its 16-month achievements.
In a statement issued yesterday, the SCC said it noted that there are two groups of people who are disgruntled over its formation, although the majority of the people have acknowledged the efforts of its members.
“These ex-opposition supporters are still hoping that the party would be reinstated through foreign pressure on the government,” the SCC said. “They consider the council as their enemies and competitors.”
“The second group comprises of unscrupulous officials who are worried about having their dishonest activities thwarted and exposed to Prime Minister Hun Sen for legal action,” it added.
The SCC is composed of representatives of 16 out of 20 political parties that contested the national election in 2018 when the ruling CPP swept all 125 National Assembly seats.
Chhim Phal Virun, chief of the SCC secretariat, yesterday said the council reports regularly to Mr Hun Sen about irregularities, abuse of power, and corrupt activities, which it has uncovered.
“These are issues that the public should know about and be discussed in the council to restore confidence in the administrative and social justice systems,” he said. “Based on public opinion, Cambodian people support the SCC for its outstanding mission.”
During a meeting with SCC members on Friday, Mr Hun Sen noted that the SCC is better than the former opposition CNRP parliamentarian members, saying that SCC members have been actively offering input, including reports on inactivity and irregularities in society for the government to address.
Mr Hun Sen at that time signalled the extension of SCC mandate despite critics arguing that the council is a “waste of national budget” because its members can only provide advice and do not wield actual power to make policy changes.
Grassroots Democratic Party spokesman Loek Sothea, who is not in the council, yesterday hailed the achievements made by the SCC members but noted that their hard work would boost the ruling CPP’s popularity among voters.
“The establishment of SCC has slowly reduced the effectiveness of the opposition parties. They no longer stand up to the government,” he said. “They are becoming walls to protect the ruling CPP.”
Sok Sovann Vathana Sabong, an SCC member and president of the Khmer Rise Party, yesterday said he was aware of the criticisms but remains committed to his duty to serve the public.
“I will continue to find justice for people and observe the problems of land issues, nepotism, and any irregularities that bring pain and suffering to people and society,” he said. “I will monitor the government in implementing the law.”