Thursday, 25.9.2008: 119 Members of the National Assembly Attend the First Session under the Presence of the King

Posted on 26 September 2008. Filed under: Week 579 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 579

“The first session of the fourth term National Assembly was opened as planned yesterday, 24 September 2008. This session was attended by 119 members, among the 123 members of the National Assembly, with the presence of four parties, except for the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha, who was reported to have been caught in a traffic jam, making it impossible for him to attend.

“Among the 119 National Assembly members, 90 were from the Cambodian People’s Party, 25 of the 26 members from the Sam Rainsy Party with Ms. Tioulong Saumura absent, 2 from Funcinpec, and 2 from the Norodom Ranariddh Party.

“The Sam Rainsy Party canceled its boycott surprisingly after negotiating with the Cambodian People’s Party in the night of 23 September 2008, which could bring many benefits for the nation. But the softness at the lass minute invites doubts from some who support the Sam Rainsy Party, because they had not received any clear explanation from the leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party, particularly from Mr. Sam Rainsy. However, Mr. Hun Sen had accepted a request by the Sam Rainsy Party for reforms of internal rules, so that the National Assembly can proceed smoothly.

“After the first National Assembly session, Mr. Hun Sen informed reporters in the National Assembly about the negotiations, mediated through Oknha Kit Meng, Director General of Mobitel (the provider of the 012 mobile phone system). Mr. Hun Sen spoke also about this process which went on until midnight; and after 7:00 in the morning there was mutual agreement, but it was too late for the National Assembly members from the Sam Rainsy Party to wear the proper clothing according to the plan, which did foresee to wear Kben [a skirt rolled in front and pulled up to the waistband in the back] and white jackets..

“In the meantime, Mr. Hun Sen took the opportunity of the unprepared participation by the Sam Rainsy Party in the National Assembly session to attack the leaders of the Sam Rainsy Party, who had asked for a discussion in order to solve the stalemate, and who wanted to honor the King who presided over this first day session.

“Mr. Hun Sen was angry with [the leader of the Human Rights Party] Mr. Kem Sokha, who wanted that a joint statement be made by all five parties that won any seats, which was considered by Mr. Hun Sen to be an action of taking the winner to be a hostage. Moreover, Mr. Hun Sen used arrogant words like he had used previously: that the one who wants to issue a joint statement by all is stupid.

“The parliamentarian Son Chhay, the spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, said during a press conference at the Sam Rainsy Party headquarters afters the session, ‘Last night when we talked we contacted each other for this morning session; and Prime Minister Hun Sen has already affirmed to create a working group to monitor the internal rules of the National Assembly, where an official role is to be given to the opposition party, to fulfill its role as the party which is not in the government – a way used also by other countries that practice parliamentary democracy.’

“Mr. Son Chhay added, ‘I believe that the internal rules have to be corrected, to form new ones, will will state that parties, that are not members of the government, can be nominated by the King, and have a budget for doing their work, to be provided for properly … this is an important point.’ Mr. Son Chhay stated in front of journalists that that is the promise they had gotten in the talks at night of 23 September 2008.

“The reform to form new internal rules according to the requests of the Sam Rainsy Party require to form groups of members of the National Assembly that consist of less than 10 members, so that they are able to express their opinion in the National Assembly, and if there would not be such a reform, the National Assembly members with less than 10 members, like Funcinpec, the Norodom Ranariddh Party, the Human Rights Party, will not be able to express their opinions during National Assembly sessions.

“Mr. Son Chhay went on to explain the points that led National Assembly members to decide to attend the first session, ‘We expect that the issues of the nation are considered to be above individual interests and political parties. We see the intrusion by Thailand into Cambodia as a worse situation; we see economic issues. We see the issue of the high price of goods which are a reason to cause Cambodians to face serious danger for guaranteeing economic growth and poverty alleviation for our citizens.’

“Mr. Son Chhay continued to say that even though the National Assembly members from the Sam Rainsy Party know that the Cambodian People’s Party will take all leading positions in the National Assembly, the National Assembly members from the Sam Rainsy Party still decided to attend the session, and soon, there will be discussions on reforms – in order to lead the nation with proper safeguards.’

“Regarding the anger of Mr. Hun Sen about the wish of Mr. Kem Sokha to have a joint statement, Mr. Son Chhay said, ‘That joint statement had an open content; what we always demanded is nothing new; it is just that we want to clarify the reasons for our unity, to strengthen the multi-party democracy.’ He continued that the alliance with the Human Rights Party of Mr. Kem Sokha remains strong, and there is no split and no betrayal.

“Mr. Son Chhay said also that the discussions that led to attend the National Assembly session yesterday morning dealt with reforms for the election laws, that is to reform the procedures, so that all Khmer citizens can vote.

“The King, Samdech Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, stated yesterday morning his expectation, while presiding over the National Assembly, that the fourth-term National Assembly will go ahead smoothly. Some hours after the first National Assembly session, the King issued a Royal Decree nominating Mr. Hun Sen as Prime Minister for this fourth-term government and even organizing the composition of the new government.

“In response to the journalists who asked whether the Sam Rainsy Party will receive positions to chair committees of the National Assembly or not, Mr. Son Chhay said, ‘We did not demand to chair committees; we requested to organize internal policy rules. It is a policy question that will require how the roles of the parities in the National Assembly are divided; it should be stated in law, and then, during the next elections, there should be no talks about this: if any party win 20 seats, positions have to be allocated to be in line with that.’

“Mr. Son Chhay continued that according to democratic policies, the ruling party cannot control all positions in the National Assembly.

“Although there were only 119 members attending the session, the National Assembly announced the validity of the 123 members already. Yesterday afternoon, the National Assembly members who had attended the session, also went to swear in the Royal Palace.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #250-#251, 24-25.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 25 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1754-#1754, 24-25.9.2008

  • The Royal Government Will Continue to Provide Subsidies to Fuel Companies [according to high ranking officials of the Ministry of Economy and Finance]
  • Samdech Hun Sen: Cambodia Has Enough Evidence to File a Complaint at the International Court of Justice in The Hague [based on the French-Siamese maps of 1904 and 1907]
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs Will Encourage the Royal Government to Ratify Two International Conventions During This Fourth Term [the International Labor Organization Convention (No. 159) Concerning Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Disabled Persons) – from 1985 – and the UN Convention for People with Disabilities – from 2006]
  • A Well-Known Political Prisoner in Myanmar Was Released [Mr. Win Tin, after 19 years detention]; More Than 9000 Other Prisoners Were Released Also [23 September 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #250-#251, 24-25.9.2008

  • 119 Members of the National Assembly Attend the First Session under the Presence of the King
  • If the Strongman Would Directly Order the Police, They Would Immediately Arrest the Murderer Who Killed Piseth Pelika [Cambodian actress, killed in June 1999, allegedly having had an affair with Prime Minister Hun Sen]


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #105, 25.9.2008

  • 200 Families Had Agreed to Leave the Boeng Kak Lake Area for New Locations [out of about 4,000 families]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6458-#6459, 24-25.9.2008

  • The European Union and Its Partner [the Ministry of Interior] Discussed about an Euro 10 Million Project to Strengthen Good Governance, Focusing on Democracy at the Basis in Cambodia [strengthening democracy and development needs through cooperation between commune councilors and other relevant people, in order to promote efficiency and to develop policies owned by the people, through participation by citizens at the basis, and stronger implementation of poverty alleviation at the commune level]
  • Valuable Wood Business Still Continues along the National Road 5; Authorities of Different Sections Just Care to Count Cars for Money [Kompong Chhnang]
  • Mr. Aso Tarô [麻生太郎] Becomes New Japanese Prime Minister


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3573-#3574, 24-25.9.2008

  • The Opposition Party Demands to Assign Roles in the National Assembly According to the Number of Seats
    Civil Society Organizations [the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, the Khmer Census League, the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers, and the Community Legal Education Center] Demand the Authorities and the Government to Release Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [who have been imprisoned since 2004 on the accusation of killing the head of Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers Chea Vichea – the Appeals Court has not yet set a date for a new hearing since a long time]
  • The New Government Has to Push the Trial of Former Khmer Rouge Leaders Soon [because they are old and some suffer from serious illnesses]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4702-#4703, 24-25.9.2008

  • [The president of the Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy Attended the Session and the Swearing-in Ceremony Leaving [the president of the Human Rights Party] Kem Sokha Behind After Negotiating with Samdech Hun Sen
  • Cambodian Officials Said that There Is No Chinese Toxic Milk in Cambodia Which Frightens the World
  • The United States Will Assist with Techniques for the Financial and Banking Sectors [in Cambodia – according to a meeting between Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon and Senior Official of the US Department of the Treasury George Mullinax, on 22 September 2008]


Note:

The web site of the US Department of the Treasury states – while the US banking sector is facing problems like never before, and the US government is asking for US$700 billion bail out funds:

“The United States has the strongest capital markets in the world, and this position is achieved through hard work and smart strategies.”

A search for the name ‘Mullinax’ on the site of the US Department of the Treasury yields the following:

Your search – Mullinax – did not match any documents.
No pages were found containing “Mullinax”.

An article “Oil, Bush Campaign Execs Help in Iraq” says, however: ‘George Mullinax, a Treasury Department official, is the senior adviser to the Central Bank [of Iraq]. He will oversee the transition to a new Iraqi currency and is known as the man who announced the Saddam Hussein family’s [supposed] removal of about $1 billion from the bank just prior to the war’ [for which two big flatbed trucks would have been needed to load this amount of US$100 bills].

Later he announced that more than US$600 million had been recovered and only the rest remains missing.

The name of George Mullinax appears also in several other reports, always “in relation” with the US Department of the Treasury, but never with a precise title.


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3415-#3416, 24-25.9.2008

  • Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha Groups Abandoned the Boycott Not to Attend the National Assembly Session; Kem Sokha Could Not Attend the Session because of Coming too Late after the King
  • Announcement to Change Ministers to Take New Office for the Fourth Term Will Be Made on 27 September

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – the public depends on reliable information

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