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'Coup' staged at EDC

A MINI pro-Funcinpec 'coup' has resulted inside the Electricite du Cambodge (EDC) from a reform plan designed to eliminate middlemen taking a cut from the sale of electricity, according to a senior adviser to the EDC.

French adviser to EDC Daniel Saulnier said: "This is for sure a little coup ... Before the [CPP] managing staff [at the EDC] were selling to the intermediaries ... the right to put some money in their pockets.

"This was one of the few companies where all the employees racketed their own company."

Funcinpec minister of industry Pou Sothirak ratified the reform plan on Sept 10. He told the Post its aim was to reorganize EDC staff to eliminate the intermediaries between the producer and consumers of electricity which was the main reason for the EDC's financial difficulties.

The industry minister said the reform will tend to make the EDC profitable. Before the reform the key positions at the EDC were run by CPP staff.

The changes will eliminate the big responsibilities of these CPP staff who will be replaced by Funcinpec members, according to an official who works with the EDC and requested anonymity.

He said the general director, CPP member Tan Kin Vinn, will now be under the responsibility of an as yet unknown Funcinpec chairman.

Vice director of the EDC and CPP member Men Sarum will now be in charge of the construction department at the EDC, a new department with no responsibilities, according to the source who added that the transition came about very smoothly.

When interviewed by the Post both Vinn and Sarum answered cautiously that the reform was in fact for the best for EDC and there was nothing to complain about.

Nobody knows whether the new staff will be any better. The source said: "With an average salary of $7 per month it becomes difficult not to be corrupt."

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