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PM reconsiders GDP’s Supreme Consultative Council invite

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Mr Hun Sen speaks at the first meeting. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday warned the Grassroots Democracy Party that he is reconsidering its participation in the Supreme Consultative Council after it failed to join the forum’s first meeting and aired concerns to the media.

Mr Hun Sen, whose ruling CPP swept all 125 National Assembly seats in last month’s election, created the council to gather input from all 19 parties that contested the poll in order to develop the country together.

“You said you needed more time to consider, and now it is I that needs time to consider your invitation,” Mr Hun Sen said of the GDP. “I welcomed you, but you did not need to use the media to respond to an official invite from the Prime Minister.”

Last week, the GDP and Our Motherland Party announced that they intended to take part in the forum, but would only do so after a new government is formed.

The League for Democracy Party and the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party declined Mr Hun Sen’s invitation to attend the forum.

Representatives of 16 political parties took part in the council’s first meeting last week.

Mr Hun Sen said that the council will have another meeting to discuss a royal decree acknowledging the formation of the consultative body.

“If the other two political parties want to join the meeting, then you all have to prepare proper letters,” he said of the GDP and Our Motherland Party. “It’s not enough to just inform the media.”

“It’s a very general issue. Do not be arrogant,” Mr Hun Sen added. “I hope that the other parties will join.”

GDP secretary-general Sam Inn said yesterday that he could not comment on the matter.

“GDP members are in a retreat. I cannot respond to media inquiries,” Mr Inn said.

Mr Hun Sen also said yesterday that he had declined requests made by several unnamed political party members who wanted high-ranking positions within the government.

“Our constitution only allows those who have a seat in the National Assembly to be appointed as high-ranking officials,” he said. “Some parties have requested that we assign their members as officials and that’s something we can’t offer.”

When asked about Mr Hun Sen’s remarks, Khmer National United Party secretary-general Sok Visal said that his party never made the request.

“We have never requested positions from the government for our party officials,” Mr Visal said.

Cambodian Youth Party president Pich Sros also denied the party ever requested high-ranking positions in the government.

“We do not care about positions. We only want to provide consultation and address inactive government officials,” Mr Sros said. “We don’t want any more headaches.”

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