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Opposition Creates ‘Shadow Cabinet’ Ahead of 2018 Election


Son Chhay, opposition party CNRP whip chief speaks to the press at the party's headquarter in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, August 09, 2016. (Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Son Chhay, opposition party CNRP whip chief speaks to the press at the party's headquarter in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, August 09, 2016. (Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

The 'shadow' committees will cover issues such as human rights, finance, foreign affairs and education.

Cambodia’s main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, has announced it will create what is in effect a shadow cabinet in preparation of an expected victory at the next election, scheduled for 2018.

Son Chhay, the CNRP’s chief whip, said the party would create 10 committees to mirror those of parliament “with the aim being to prepare the circumstances in which we believe that the CNRP will win the election and lead the country.”

“The party must be clear about the principle of implementing policy when we have a leadership role, so we are creating 10 committees first, then we will create more committees,” he said.

Son Chhay, opposition party CNRP whip chief introduces the committee leaders during a press at the party's headquarter in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, August 09, 2016. (Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Son Chhay, opposition party CNRP whip chief introduces the committee leaders during a press at the party's headquarter in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, August 09, 2016. (Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

The committees will cover issues such as human rights, finance, foreign affairs and education.

The CNRP has come under fire from critics who have argued that the party has not produced a coherent set of policies since it formed in 2012.

Ou Virak, President of Future Forum, a think tank group in Cambodia. ( Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Ou Virak, President of Future Forum, a think tank group in Cambodia. ( Leng Len/VOA Khmer)

Ou Virak, founder of the Future Forum think tank, said to effectively run the country the opposition needed to play catch up with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in terms of the ability to govern.

“An effective opposition party is a party which has [enough resources] to lead the country … a government needs to have a prime minister, ministers in each ministry and a party platform. When you have the resources, you also need to have a plan and knowledge of how to lead,” he said.

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