Chief, Monitors Named for Security Bureau

Deputy national police Com­missioner Neth Savoeun has been appointed to serve as chief of the newly formed Central Security Bureau in charge of election safety, and the government has named nine top government officials to serve as the bureau’s monitors, a National Election Com­mittee official said Monday.

Neth Savoeun was appointed two weeks ago to serve as chief of the new Ministry of Interior Central Security Bureau, said Leng So­chea, spokesman for the National Election Committee.

The bureau, which is officially headed by National Police Dir­ector General Hok Lundy, is responsible for working with the NEC to investigate cases of violence and intimidation related to the national elections, scheduled for July 27, Leng Sochea said.

The bureau, composed of 18 members, includes army, navy and air force officials, and other top officials, Leng Sochea said.

Co-Ministers of Interior Sar Kheng and You Hockry, co-Min­ister of Defense Tea Banh, Min­ister of Finance Keat Chhon and several other high-ranking officials, including the national commander of the military police, Sao Sokha, and Hok Lundy, all will serve on the monitoring council, Leng Sochea said.

Leng Sochea said the council members were appointed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Dec 27—at least one month before the government announced it would form the Central Security Bureau—because “we need to set up the top force first.”

The head of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections said he is concerned that the members of the monitoring council are mostly from the ruling CPP. “We do not have a neutral ad­ministration, and [the monitoring council members] need to build trust with the voters,” Comfrel Pres­ident Koul Panha said Monday.

He also said the monitors and the Central Security Bureau will need to conduct investigations into political intimidation and violence very thoroughly and, more importantly, will need the political will to carry the investigations through.

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