In Cambodia, Cabinet okays changes to the constitution

By Ven Rathavong, 2 February
The cabinet met on Feb.2 to discuss and approve the draft of an amendment to the constitution, and the penal code.  The changes in Articles 34, 42, 49, 53 and 118 of the constitution, which would allow the appointment of secretaries of state by royal decree and without ratification by the National Assembly, were endorsed.  They now go to the NA for authorization. The constitutional amendments are part of an effort to down-size the cabinet. The cabinet also gave their thumbs-up to incorporating a law against insulting the King (lèse-majesté) in the Kingdom’s penal code. The Prime Minister said that secretaries of state will be appointed by royal degree and will no longer need approval from the NA.  He added that after the amendments take effect the cabinet will be comprised of the Prime Minister, his deputies, and the various ministers. Interior Minister Sar Kheng brought forth the drafts for the constitutional amendments.  Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana and other members of committee seconded the proposal.

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