Prime Minister Hun Sen has proposed a consultation forum between the government and political parties be formed in a bid to hear their input and develop the country together.
Speaking to about 15,000 garment workers in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said that he will form the consultation forum between the government and all parties that contested the national election last month.
“Although there are few parties at the National Assembly, I want to form a consultation forum between the government and political parties that contested the election,” he said. “It is an informal consultation forum which needs input from political parties to help the government develop the country.”
“They can put forward their platforms,” he added.
He said that it was imperative for society to be in harmony through a culture of dialogue between the ruling party and all other parties outside the government.
Mr Hun Sen said he will write letters to invite all party presidents to join the forum before a new government is formed on September 6.
He said last week that King Norodom Sihamoni will preside over the National Assembly’s opening session on September 5 while the first meeting of the Council of Ministers will take place on September 7.
Yang Saing Koma, executive committee director of the Grassroots Democratic Party, applauded the consultation forum, saying that it will allow parties outside the government to have an opportunity to raise the country’s social issues.
“I think it is good, but the important thing is the implementation needs to be based on honesty and respect of each other,” Mr Saing Koma said. “The GDP will give advocacy related to political platforms in order to push the ruling party to be more responsible. Consultation is a good chance for us to raise all challenging issues for the government to consider.”
“We want to take part in the forum which needs to be held regularly and it is not an issue of power sharing; we have to discuss the country’s issues for the people,” he added. “If we hold the forum for national unity, it will help contribute to no political divides.”
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the forum was to legitimise Mr Hun Sen’s government.
“It will contribute to enhancing the post-election regime’s legitimacy. How much and how far this contribution is will be debatable,” Mr Mong Hay said.
Mr Hun Sen said that parties outside the government could partake in the consultation forum to discuss draft laws.
“I take this chance to welcome all stakeholders who want to take part in maintaining peace and development to build our country,” Mr Hun Sen. “This is an initiative that I want to send out and I will write letters to invite all political parties, including the CPP.”