Five More Years For Hun Sen; Some Ministers Reshuffled

A day after its opening session and still devoid of the 55 lawmakers-elect of the opposition CNRP, the country’s new, one-party National Assembly voted Prime Minister Hun Sen in for yet another five-year term Tuesday and approved an extensive re­shuffle of his Cabinet. … In a single, unanimously approved “package vote,” the 68 CPP lawmakers also restored Heng Samrin, 79, to the post of Assembly president, created a brand new Ministry of Public Function and created 13 new positions for ministers delegated to the prime minister. After the Assembly’s brief, second session, the new government released an official list of the prime minister’s new Cabinet, which included 10 changes of leadership at the country’s 27 ministries. … Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh was moved to Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy, where the former minister, Suy Sem, is now a member of parliament. Sun Chanthol, former secretary-general of the Council for the Development of Cambodia is now Commerce Minister. Finance Ministry Secretary of State Ouk Rabun will replace Chan Sarun as minister of agriculture. Mr. Sarun is now senior minister in charge of special missions under Mr. Hun Sen. Finance Ministry Secretary of State Aun Porn Moniroth will replace Keat Chhon as finance minister. Mr. Chhon is now a lawmakers and deputy prime minister. Finance Ministry Secretary of State Hang Chuon Naron will replace Im Sethy as education minister. Mr. Sethy is now a lawmaker. Council of Ministers Secretary of State Prak Sokhon will replace So Khun as post and telecommunications minister. Mr. Khun is now a lawmaker. Culture and Fine Arts Ministry Secretary of State Phoeung Sakona will replace Him Chhem as minister. He too becomes a senior minister in charge of special missions under Mr. Hun Sen. Labor Minister Vong Sauth and Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng will switch desks. Environment Minister Mok Mareth was replaced by Say Sam Al, who headed the Assembly’s investment committee. Mr. Mareth is now a lawmaker. … The CNRP is boycotting the Assembly to protest the official results of the July 28 election, which it claims was fraudulently called in favor of the CPP and which it really won. From Siem Reap City, where the party’s 55 elected lawmakers went to wait-out King Norodom Sihamoni’s opening of parliament, the CNRP on Monday called the new Assembly unconstitutional. .. Minister of the Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol’s name was missing from the list of 11 deputy prime ministers, as was Funcinpec secretary-general Nhiek Bun Chhay, whose party failed to win any seats in July’s election and has no other government posts.

Hul Reaksmey and Zsombor Peter