His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni has issued a royal decree outlining the structure and operation of the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendations.

Comprised of seven chapters and 21 articles, and released on August 30 after its officially signing on August 26, the decree allows political parties to join the group regularly and in accordance with the specified terms and conditions.

Under the edict, political parties that participated in the July 23 general election are eligible to become members of the advisory body during the seventh legislature of the National Assembly.

In order to join, the parties must formally apply within a two-week period. The membership appointments, subject to the Prime Minister Hun Manet’s approval, will take effect after the order’s implementation.

Furthermore, it extends the invitation to other political party founders, including those that did not contest in the recent election but were duly registered. Eligibility to join the group for these parties is also subject to the prime minister’s endorsement.

The primary role of the commission is to operate within the assembly’s framework, providing insights to the government for enhancing the efficiency of state institutions and authorities across all levels, ultimately serving the nation and its citizens.

Notably, it holds the authority to propose and draft laws and legal documents, which will then be submitted to the prime minister for review.

Leadership will rotate monthly, with the head being selected from delegate leaders of political parties, according to their position on the National Election Committee’s (NEC) list.

Speaking to The Post on August 30, Kimsour Phirith, spokesperson of the Candlelight Party, underscored the significance of political parties participating as competitors rather than adversaries in elections.

He emphasised that a party supported by the people contributes to democratic progress and national development.

Phirith acknowledged his party’s failure to contest the July 23 general election and expressed reservations about joining.

“We were deemed an illegal political party, and joining the council would further complicate our status,” Phirith said.

While acknowledging the government’s right to establish the consultative team, he pointed to what he described as limitations in relying solely on the input of thousands of advisors.

Reflecting on the body’s past performance, Phirith said he had perceived a lack of impact or solutions during the previous mandate, and that meetings were held sporadically without yielding meaningful change.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the consultation council’s role remained consistent with its predecessor.

“It offers spiritual guidance for examination and recommendations, but lacks significant influence over the government.

“Debates within the national assembly hold real power, while the council operates differently,” he stated.