Representatives from the eight political parties registered for the upcoming election will meet this afternoon at the Cambodiana Hotel to sign an anti-corruption pledge – the first of its kind in Cambodia – according to Transparency International representatives.
Eighty TI delegates from 26 countries, along with diplomats, development partners and ACU officials, will witness the signing of the pledge intended to hold whichever parties win in the election accountable to their promises to fight corruption, said Preap Kol, director of TI Cambodia.
“This will allow people to monitor how election officials are complying and monitor what they’ve promised to do,” Kol said. “This is historic for Cambodia.”
To buttress this effort, about 600 youths gathered in Phnom Penh yesterday to attend a conference aimed at educating them to recognise and fight corruption.
Youths at the Chaktomuk Conference Hall wore pink and orange T-shirts bearing the slogan “I need integrity. And You?” and chanted “We pledge to fix corruption, not live with it.”
During the conference, they learned to distinguish between bribery, extortion, embezzlement, patronage systems and other forms of corruption and were encouraged to report any of these forms they witnessed to the ACU hotline or to TI. They also learned how local anti-corruption networks could check corrupt officials by publicising the proper fees for services.
Kol urged the youths to put pressure on government representatives. “The election winners should deal with corruption immediately so that poor people can gain the advantages from the natural resources,” he said.
Chhoun Hay, 21, who had travelled from Ratanakkiri to attend the conference, said his province faced corruption in its court system and environmental management and that he would share what he had learned yesterday with other young people in his town.