Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No special treatment for Sovann: City Hall

No special treatment for Sovann: City Hall

Former Cambodian prime minster Pen Sovann talks to reporters at Phnom Penh’s National Assembly in 2014.
Former Cambodian prime minster Pen Sovann talks to reporters at Phnom Penh’s National Assembly in 2014. Hong Menea

No special treatment for Sovann: City Hall

City Hall yesterday rejected the opposition’s request to hold the funeral of former Prime Minister Pen Sovann at Phnom Penh’s Wat Botum Park, saying he ceased to enjoy any special privileges after becoming a lawmaker in the 2013 election.

“That was the past, but now it is the present and things are different,” said City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada. “Currently he is a lawmaker, therefore we treat him like a lawmaker.”

Sovann, who was Cambodia’s first premier following the fall of the Khmer Rouge, passed away on Saturday night after a prolonged battle with poor health and will lay in wake at his family home in Takeo province. He was serving as a Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker for Kampong Speu province.

Chanyada said the municipality had yet to receive a request for a funeral march from Takeo to Chamkarmon district’s Wat Khan or for holding the cremation ceremony at Wat Botum, adding that the site was reserved for officials who were ranked deputy prime ministers and above.

“There is no discrimination. Even ministers cannot be cremated there,” Chanyada said. CNRP lawmaker Yem Ponhearith said it was “regrettable” that the authorities were ignoring Sovann’s past contributions to the country and that even lawmakers could be honoured for their service. “They should honour all Cambodian ministers the same, whether past or present,” he said.

In the wake of Sovann’s death, the CNRP must now fill one of the three National Assembly seats they won from Kampong Speu province in 2013 – Sok Umsea and Nuth Rumdoul are the other two sitting lawmakers.

According to the Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly, the party is to nominate a new member to fill in the vacancy from the broader list of candidates originally submitted for that province.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said the party – following its list from the 2013 election – would propose Soun Rida to take over the seat. He said Rida, who is a doctor by profession, currently serves as vice chairman of the party’s Phnom Penh working committee.

“There is no need for discussion because we have to follow whoever is fourth on the list,” Sovann said.

“I don’t think we will change that, and it will happen after the funeral.”

Rida could not be reached for comment yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration