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ACU urges councillors to declare assets

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Pa Socheatvong, who has just taken office as chairman of the Phnom Penh Municipal Council, said he had declared his assets and debts in accordance with the law. POST PIX

ACU urges councillors to declare assets

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) has reminded newly-elected municipal, provincial, town and district councillors that they are obliged to declare their assets and debts within a maximum of 30 days after taking office or they will be forced to resign from office.

But councillors who declared their assets and debts last year and have been re-elected are not required to do so again, according to the ACU’s notice.

It said new councillors can either make their declaration to the ACU directly, send the details to a provincial ACU representative, or provide the information to the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Administration.

Pa Socheatvong, who has just taken office as chairman of the Phnom Penh Municipal Council, said the notice is in line with the law and government officials should comply with its requirements.

He said that obviously, he had declared his assets and debts in accordance with the law. “I think we government officials should happily comply with the requirements of this law because it benefits our nation.

“It’s useful that we are required to declare our assets. We are leaders, so we must do the right thing,” Socheatvong said.

Transparency International Cambodia executive director Preap Kol said the ACU directive is in line with the Anti-Corruption Law.

But he said that what civil society organisations and the public desire is for it to be carried out in a transparent manner with the documents shared publicly.

Therefore, Kol said, the current laws should be amended in order to provide a publicly available record whenever it is needed.

“The current law has its merits but it falls short of what we would like to see. It is helpful, but in our country how many people have filed complaints with the ACU?

“I’d say not many, except in special politically-motivated cases, and there should be more,” Kol said.

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won 4,034 of 4,114 seats in this year’s third mandate municipal, provincial, town and district council elections, while the other six parties received limited support.

The National Election Committee (NEC) released the formal results of the elections on June 8, showing that of the seven political parties only three parties won seats.

The CPP received 550 of the 559 Phnom Penh and provincial council seats and 3,484 of the 3,555 seats in municipal, town and district councils. The Khmer National Unity Party won 38 seats, while the Funcinpec Party received 33.

NEC spokesperson Hang Puthea told The Post on June 9 that none of the parties had lodged any complaints following the formal announcement of the results.

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