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Opposition officials ‘destroying’ gov’t: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen gives a speech at Phnom Penh Municipal Hall yesterday in which he blamed non-ruling party bureaucrats for shortcomings in public administration.
Prime Minister Hun Sen gives a speech at Phnom Penh Municipal Hall yesterday in which he blamed non-ruling party bureaucrats for shortcomings in public administration. Heng Chivoan

Opposition officials ‘destroying’ gov’t: PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday threatened to arrest pro-opposition government officials who were caught indulging in corrupt practices, saying they were attempting to bring disgrace to the ruling party.

Speaking at Phnom Penh City Hall, Hun Sen said public officials affiliated with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party were working hard to serve the people, while bureaucrats from “some political parties” were looking to create trouble and undermine CPP’s good work.

“The public administration does not belong to any one political party, but there are some political parties who have used people they could assign in public service to destroy its reputation,” he said.

He added that for every 1,000 officials, four were from the “other party” and doing a bad job. Though he did not name another party, only the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party and the royalist Funcinpec Party hold government positions, apart from the CPP.

“I would like to propose that the good officials arrest [bad officials] to be convicted and clean it up for us,” Hun Sen said.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said he failed to understand the prime minister’s accusations, given that the vast majority of civil servants were CPP supporters, and that corruption at any level was squarely linked to the ruling party. “Do not use the court system to mistreat the opposition party.”

Political analyst Ou Virak said Hun Sen’s attempt to play the opposition card was only to deflect blame for the inefficiencies and misconduct of public administration officials onto “a few bad apples”.

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