F’pec Member Resigns, Faults Lu Laysreng

A Funcinpec secretary of state at the Rural Development Ministry re­signed on Friday, accusing Min­is­ter Lu Laysreng of incompetence and nepotism.

Don Sammoun addressed his res­ignation letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen and claimed in it that the Rural Development Ministry, one of four priority ministries seen as key to reducing poverty, has been mired in internal dispute and inaction for a year.

“The Ministry of Rural Develop­ment, under the framework established by His Excellency Lu Lay­sreng is inactive now and does not move forward but moves backward,” the secretary of state wrote.

Lu Laysreng declined to comment on the accusations when contacted by telephone.

“[Don Sammoun] was about to get fired so he submitted his resignation before they fired him,” Lu Laysreng said.

In his letter, Don Sammoun said that due to inaction by the minister, a vital $18 million water supply loan from the Asian Development Bank, agreed in October, had not come through and a German grant of $9.1 million for road improvement has also not materialized.

But ADB Senior Economist Pur­ni­ma Rajapakse said that there has been no unusual delay in the implementation of the ADB loan.

“The loan was approved by the board on Oct 20 and signed on Dec 27,” he said. “It has to become effective within 90 days and was effective beginning Feb 5.”

German Embassy officials could not be reached Friday.

The decline of the fortunes of the Funcinpec party continued on Fri­day as three party provincial governors officially lost their jobs to CPP members.

Funcinpec Siem Reap Governor Sim Son was replaced by CPP Ta­keo Governor Sou Phirin, according to the Ministry of Information. Banteay Meanchey Governor Heng Chantha was replaced by his CPP deputy An Sum and Kandal Governor Lao Sunpa was replaced by his CPP deputy Khim Bo.

“This is part of the usual transfer of administrative officials,” said CPP spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith.

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