Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funcinpec enters fray

Funcinpec enters fray

Funcinpec party supporters (right) greet CNRP youth during a political rally in Phnom Penh in July. Although the royalist political party did not win any seats in parliament during the election, nearly 30 posts have been granted to Funcinpec members.
Funcinpec party supporters (right) greet CNRP youth during a political rally in Phnom Penh in July. Although the royalist political party did not win any seats in parliament during the election, nearly 30 posts have been granted to Funcinpec members. Heng Chivoan

Funcinpec enters fray

Members of a party unable to garner a single seat in the National Assembly at July’s national election will hold undersecretaries of state positions in at least 28 different government ministries.

In an interview yesterday, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan told the Post that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party appointed the Funcinpec members because of their collective years of practical experience.

Nhek Bun Chhay, Funcinpec’s secretary-general, confirmed the high-level positions to which members of his party have been appointed since the July 28 election.

“The Cambodian People’s Party has made the appointments according to an agreement made at a meeting in March,” Bun Chhay said. “The CPP then said they would take Funcinpec as a partner in this fifth mandate.”

He added that the appointees are qualified to serve in their respective capacities and have been working with CPP officials for years.

“They already have experience and are assets to the state,” Phay Siphan said. “These were not politically motivated decisions.”

Although voters opted not to vote for Funcinpec during the national election, Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said yesterday that he sees little wrong with the CPP’s decision.

Those appointed to high-ranking positions in the current mandate seem to hold acceptable degrees of experience, regardless of their political affiliations, Virak said.

“I don’t see what the problem is,” he said, pointing out that presidential cabinets in the US often include members of political parties out of favour with the voting public.

But independent social analyst Kem Ley was worried that offering so many of these positions to Funcinpec members, who would require “large salaries”, would add to the government’s expenses and present another obstacle to increasing salaries for long-suffering civil servants.

“If we understand the government loses manpower when they have to pay larger salaries, we can choose undersecretaries appropriately; taking into account salary requirements in addition to skill,” Ley said.

“If appointments are made without taking into account each department’s real need, I don’t think the ministries will function successfully.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release