The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) honored the legacy of longtime party leader and first vice-president of the National Assembly, Nguon Nhel, who died on Friday.
He was 79 years old.
Nhel was last seen in public on October 15 as he led a delegation to lay a wreath on the statue of the late King Norodom Sihanouk to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the late King’s death.
According to Secretary General and National Assembly spokesperson Leng Peng Long, Nhel died at 10:36 a.m. from illness and described Nhel’s death as a “huge loss” to the party and the nation and his government. body remained unchanged at Chbar’s residence. Municipality of Prek Pra in Ampov district.
After Nhel’s death, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the leadership and all members of the ruling party “are deeply saddened by the death”.
Eysan said Nhel has made a substantial contribution to the party and the nation, holding positions ranging from a local official to a top national leader.
Cambodian leaders, including Prime Minister Hun Sen, Speaker of the National Assembly Heng Samrin and Speaker of the Senate Say Chhum, conveyed their condolences and led the delegations to lay a wreath and pay a final tribute at the vigil.
Mr. Hun Sen, who is also the chairman of the CPP, said he was shocked when he learned of Nhel’s death and offered his deepest condolences to the bereaved family members.
“It is a great loss for a great Cambodian political figure who is full of conscience to serve the cause of the nation, religion and the King in all circumstances, and who has actively contributed to the promotion of the values of the rule of law with high ideals, ”Hun Sen said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
Samrin also viewed Nhel’s death as the loss of a “great figure” in the National Assembly as well as for the nation as a whole.
“I am deeply saddened by the loss of (Nhel), a good colleague full of ability and virtue,” Samrin said.
Nhel was honored by King Norodom Sihamoni in July of last year as “Kitti Nitti Kosal Pundit”, meaning “Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Law”. He spoke three languages Khmer, English and French.
He was born on December 22, 1942 into a farming family in Trapaig Chey Village, Balang Township, Baray District, Kampong Thom Province. He had married the former teacher Nhem Sophany and had six children, four sons and two daughters. Sophany died in 2011. Her eldest son, Nguon Socheat, is a deputy for Kampong Cham province.
Nhel has a diploma in pedagogy and a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. He was Minister of Agriculture from 1989 to 1993 and Member of Parliament for Kampong Thom Province from 1993 until his death. Nhel was vice-president of the National Assembly for five terms, starting in 1998.
But during the fifth term, in 2014, due to political negotiations between the CPP and the National Rescue Party of Cambodia (CNRP), now dissolved by the courts, Nhel was re-elected second vice-president of the National Assembly, to pave the way for then CNRP vice-president Kem Sokha who took over as first vice-president.
However, after Sokha was removed from his post as First Vice President of the National Assembly in October 2015, Nhel returned to his old post until his death.
In addition, in the ranks of the CPP, Nhel is a member of the Standing Committee of its Central Committee and chairman of the party’s working group for Kampong Thom province.
Nhel spent the period of the Khmer Rouge regime in the countryside and after the genocidal regime in May 1980 he became chairman of the Kampong Thom People’s Committee, holding this post until September 1985.
He was then appointed secretary of the Kampuchea People’s Revolutionary Party (PRPK) in Phnom Penh, a post he held until 1989.