Prime Minister Hun Manet has approved the requests of all 30 of the political parties which applied to join the Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendation, according to Chhim Phal Vorun, head of the council secretariat.

“All of the requests were first reviewed by the secretariat, and then forwarded to the prime ministers cabinet. Now that the prime minister has approved them, all that remains is the official appointments. They will be made via a Royal Decree,” he explained.

The council was first established by former Prime Minister Hun Sen in the wake of the 2018 general election, with the purpose of offering those parties which did not win seats a way to share their inputs on national affairs.

Phal Vorun said it was still early to say when the new council will be announced, as the decision remained with the prime minister.

Meas Sophorn, chief of the prime minister’s cabinet spokesperson unit, could not be reached for comment on October 10.

Yang Peou, secretary general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the council was established to provide comments to the government, as in any democratic society. Although the body has no authority, the government may consider its input and comments before making any decisions.

“They can only share their ideas and recommendations; they don’t have any influence on the government. It is only the parliament who can question the government’s actions,” he added.

In August, King Norodom Sihamoni signed a royal decree – aimed at promoting the Kingdom’s multi-party democracy and providing recommendations to the government – which established the council. The council has a five-year mandate, in line with that of the elected government.