Thursday, 23 October 2008

Cambodia appoints first female deputy premier

Thursday October 23, 2008

Phnom Penh (dpa) - Cambodia has appointed former soldier turned journalist Mem Sam An as its first female deputy prime minister, the politician confirmed Thursday.

The 55-year-old, who represents the south-western province of Svay Rieng, was a senior minister in the previous cabinet and said she is honoured by the promotion.

Mem Sam An became part of Cambodian folklore in the 1970s, marshalling troops on the Vietnam border against the Khmer Rouge with what her comrades describe as extraordinary bravery.

She subsequently became an important member of the ruling Cambodian People's Party, which was returned with an increased majority in national elections in July, and has also worked as a journalist for party publications.

"I became a soldier when I was 16. This honour shows that women can achieve anything if they have support," she said.

In Cambodia, seven deputy prime ministers jointly served under Prime Minister Hun Sen last term.

Democratic elections resumed in Cambodia in 1993 after nearly three decades of civil war and are held every five years.

Politics in Cambodia has traditionally been male-dominated, although there are a number of powerful female politicians, especially within Mem Sam An's own party.

1 comment:

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