Anti-Corruption Workshop To Begin This Week

The much-anticipated public consultation on the draft of Cambodia’s long-awaited Anti-Corruption Law will take place Wednesday and Thurs­day in Phnom Penh, UN officials said Monday.  

According to a draft schedule of events, the workshop will be opened by Prime Minister Hun Sen and will be led by Minister of National As­sembly and Senate Re­lations and In­spection Mem Sam An.

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said on Monday that he sent a request to the UN Development Program to address the workshop. Son Chhay said he believed the request was ignored. As the Sam Rainsy Party’s anti-corruption expert and author of the opposition’s own version of the law, he would have liked to contribute.

“I think they must be under pressure from the government not to allow us to speak,” he said.

UNDP Anti-corruption Coordina­tor Sok Narin wrote in an e-mail on Mon­day night that he was not aware of Son Chhay’s request to ad­dress the workshop but would make inquiries. “There has been no pressure from the government or whatsoever,” he wrote.

Diane Cullinane, anti-corruption adviser for Pact Cambodia, said NGOs would distribute their recommendations at the two-day meeting.

“The four points that their position paper focuses on are witness protection, asset declaration, the independence of the anti-corruption body, and the extent of its in­vestigative powers,” she said Mon­day.

Drafts of the Anti-Corruption law have been circulating since 1993. At the Consultative Group of Donors meeting in December, the adoption of the law this year was set as a benchmark for the government’s reform efforts.

During the workshop, UNDP con­sultant and former Hong Kong an­ti-corruption commissioner, Ber­trand de Speville, will present his com­ments on the draft’s shortfalls and its benefits. Other speakers will include former corruption com­missioners of Sin­gapore and Madagascar.



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