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Corruption remains problem, but democracy just fine: poll

Eighty-two per cent of 1,200 people surveyed feel that Cambodia’s democracy works, despite 50 per cent calling corruption a major issue in the national government, according to figures released by the Center for Advanced Study yesterday.

The CAS, a non-partisan research NGO, disseminated the results of its Asian Barometer Survey, which asked Cambodians throughout the country about political values, democracy and governance.

Dr Hean Sokhom, executive director of the CAS, said the aim of the survey is to take feedback from people and give it directly to the government.

“We think that these results can help the government to offer better services than before,” Hean Sokhom said.

The survey identifies the 10 most important issues in the eyes of Cambodians, with “management of the economy”, specifically controlling high food and gas prices, topping the list with roughly 18 per cent of the vote.

Land issues, unemployment, border disputes with Thailand and poverty rounded out the top five.

The survey also showed that more than 70 per cent of respondents thought it was either “likely”, or “very likely” that “the government will solve the most important problem [they] identified within the next five years”.

Only five per cent of Cambodians ranked corruption the most important issue facing the country, despite about half of respondents agreeing with the statements “most officials are corrupt”, or “almost everyone is corrupt”.

However, more than 60 per cent think the government is taking action to combat corruption.

According to Transparency International, Cambodia is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, ranking 164th among 183 countries, and 12th out of 12 Asian peers.

Hang Puthea, executive director of election monitoring NGO NICFEC, attended the event where the findings were presented, and said that the survey matched the findings of similar NIFEC surveys.

Ek Tha, spokesman of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Meas Sokchea at meas.sokchea@phnompenhpost.com
Stuart White at stuart.white@phnompenhpost.com

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