Just twenty-four hours after the powerful Khmer Supreme State Council had been dissolved, it wa replaced in a surprise move by a new four-man executive council.
Just twenty-four hours after the powerful Khmer Supreme State Council had been dissolved, it wa replaced in a surprise move by a new four-man executive council. Prime Minister Long Boret announced this shake-up in the Khmer political hierarchy at a news conference on Tuesday (April 2).
The Supreme State Council was set up last year at a time when the two chambers of Parliament were suspended. President Lon Nol announced at the weekend that its usefulness was at an end now that a two-chamber legislature is functioning.
But then came the surprise announcement of the Executive Council, containing three of the four members of the dissolved body -- President Lon Nol, Prime Minister Long Boret and General Sirik Matak. Liberal politician Cheng Heng, who served on the old council, is replaced on the Executive by the Commander of the Armed Force Chiefs of Staff, Major-General Sesthene Frenoandez.
So military representation on the council is effectively strengthened at a time when government forces have been under increasing pressure from communist insurgents.
Prime Minister Long Boret announced the members and functions of the Executive Council during Tuesday's news conference. He spoke in French. A translation follows.
SYNOPSIS: Khmer Prime Minister Long Boret announced a shake-up in the country's political hierarchy on Tuesday. Just twenty-four hours earlier, the powerful Supreme State Council had been dissolved -- its functions as an emergency governing body presumably ended now that a two-chamber legislature is operative. But in a surprise move, the Prime Minister announced it was being superseded by an Executive Council -- virtually the same thing under another name.
The Prime Minister explained that the Executive Council will examine vital questions submitted to it by the government and armed forces. Three of its four members served in the old Supreme State Council. But a Liberal politician who served on that body had been replaced by the Commander of the Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff, Major General Sosthene Frenandez. President Long Nol, General Sirik Matak Premier Long Boret are the other members. So the change does strengthen military representation on the council at a time when government forces are under increasing pressure from communist insurgents.