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Graft body gets two appointees

TWO former Constitutional Council members were picked to sit on a new body designed to oversee the government’s anticorruption drive Tuesday.

The National Assembly and the Senate each made selections to fill one of 11 positions on the National Anticorruption Council, which was created after the passage of the long-delayed Anticorruption Law this year.

The National Assembly chose former Constitutional Council member Top Sam. Out of 106 parliamentarians who turned out to vote, 83 voted in favour of Top Sam, 13 voted against, two abstained, and another eight votes were voided, National Assembly President Heng Samrin said.

The Senate also chose a former member of the Constitutional Council as its representative, with 45 of 53 senators present choosing Prak Sok, said Chea Son, a Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker. Prak Sok is also a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s central committee.

Other institutions, including the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, are expected to choose candidates to fill the remaining positions on the commission.

Asked to elaborate on his plans in his new role, Top Sam noted that he was just one of several members on the new body.

“We hope that all members will work together to ... move forward for the elimination of corruption in Cambodia,” he said.

But opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovann said he had no confidence that the new body would be able to curb graft.

“As most CPP members are corrupt and as most components of the [National Anticorruption Council] ... are also from the CPP, the political willingness to reduce and eliminate corruption in Cambodia will not be successful,” he said.

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