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Officials mull models for decentralisation

OFFICIALS were tempering expectations of government reform after a seminar Wednesday aimed at showcasing its much-mooted decentralisation and deconcentration plans.

More than 300 members from municipal, district and provincial councils, as well as government ministers, attended the seminar, where French officials presented decentralisation and deconcentration strategies.

The seminar featured Jean-Philippe Bayon, deputy board director of the Rhone-Alpes region in southeastern France, who shared his
experiences of reform in his own country.

But one political official said Cambodia wouldn’t blindly imitate the French model.

“Cambodia will study French decentralisation and deconcentration, and then find out choices and solutions … that respond to Cambodia’s present situation,” said Sak Setha, a secretary of state at the Interior Ministry.

The government arranged commune council elections in 2002 and 2007 to place more power in local administrators. In 2008, reform expanded to include capital, provincial, municipal and district council elections.

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