Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Closing Session of the National Supreme Council of Consultation to Take Stock of the 16 Months Works (September 2018 – 2019) and to Set Directions for 2020 [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

In addition to the prepared text, Samdech Techo made three additional comments/points that Cambodia New vision has unofficially selected and translated as followed:

NSCC to Continue after 2023

After working with each other in this past period, though the royal decree limits the roles and tasks of direct participation of political parties with the Royal Government for this one (legislative term) I have a wish that after 2023, we could propose for continued mechanism of the National Supreme Council of Consultation (NSCC). Taking stock of works and effectiveness that Excellencies and Lok Chumteavs have carried out in direct cooperation with the Royal Government, we see the difference this has made to position taken by some members of the opposition parties who would rather take on Ministers, Prime Ministers, etc. with issues in the National Assembly. You in NSCC have the chance of working directly with the Ministers and even Prime Ministers, as well as the sub-national level authorities.

NSCC Members Are Equal

Though we do not have many parties in the National Assembly, we have a multi-party status closer to the executive power. This has become a culture of cooperation among political parties, whereas they do not have to insult parties in the Royal Government to be in the opposition. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, I was not the one who initiated NSCC roles and tasks. We started by agreeing to take rotating chair once a month and it is now 16 months already. Though big or small, with more or less voices, political parties in NSCC have equality among them. That political party members of NSCC can take a rotating chairing role indicates equality in the political process […]

Accepting Consultation/Opinion of Parties of Different Views

I would rather accept opinions from political parties with different views rather than to take foreign orders. It was true that in our meetings, there have been issues relating to roles/tasks of so and so at so and so level and authorities that we have to spend more time on. We have been able to take actions or made interventions in a timely manner, however, on a number of issues thanks to inputs from leaders of all political parties. Example this urgent reaction from the Cambodian Youth Party on this land reclamation in the sea (at Koh Kong province). We have issued resolute order for the person to remove soil or lose his rank (in the army). I have the news now that the person has stopped the reclaiming sea and started removing process.

Legal procedure is another matter but this is the Prime Minister’s discretion […] I am happy to take comments and consultation from our people though they may belong to different political tendencies as long as we share common interest is for national progress. This could be better than we are taking orders from outside to do this and that in exchange for assistances […]

NSCC Members Do Not Follow CPP’s Policies

To be in NSCCC does mean that you are required to implement the Cambodian People’s Party’s (CPP) policies. You are working along the Royal Decreed roles and tasks. In the forthcoming 2022 (communal elections) and 2023 (general elections), you are not required to be parties in alliance with CPP […] you are to exercise your rights fully and perform your campaign as you pleased according to law of political organizations. Some may have misconception that you are becoming subordinates of CPP. That is not what it is. It would be a wrong thought. You are still independent. As it happened, the Royal Government never talks about your parties’ policies while on the other hand you have the ability to pose questions on the Royal Government.

More so, before going through the Cabinet’s meeting, the Royal Government’s officials in their ranks of Ministers, Senior Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers presented and sought NSCC views and inputs because NSCC is where political parties (from different political perceptions and views) are. To carry through this procedure I do not think it is a bad thing for the ruling party. Taking inputs from political parties in the framework of NSCC is a better thing to do than to ask for ones from foreign circles. We have been working together and this harmonious working procedure – though we may attack each other in the coming elections battles, we would sit down and work together […]

Let me reaffirm that I am satisfied with opinions and leads from […] as I have said earlier that though some matters are in the competencies of so and so, still we are taking swift actions on whatever we can […]. Should there be no research and investigation of political parties in NSCC, there could be no reports of land reclamation (into sea at Koh Kong province) coming to the Prime Minister, not even in five years or ten years from now. This has clearly presented us of what we can do together […

No Recommendations, Only Suggestions

As you can see, I have no recommendations as to how you – NSCC political parties members to go about performing the Royal Decreed roles and tasks […] as I would do to other fora or state institutions. I only have hope that NSCC – which is concentrating now 16 political parties – continues to perform their roles and tasks written in the Royal Decree. It also includes searching for points in laws/policies that are not appropriately relevant to and/or reflecting people’s interests. Their works would become inputs at the executive level for the Royal Government to consider in its legal and/or policies improvements and amendments.

I have said often too that not every policies are reflecting the bests of what we hoped to achieve. Decisions at top tier, where the Royal Government may deem correct and reflect the subject interest, could sometimes be unreflecting […] taking for instance issues relating to judicial norm and documents […] (that I have made no recommendations is because) I am leaving NSCC political parties members with ability to carry out their roles and tasks […]. Though I am not going to be able to have dinner with our political parties’ delegates, I can still stand with each, and every, 16 political parties’ delegates for a photo session […]./.