F’pec Minister Questions Delay in Promotions

Prince Norodom Sirivudh, Fun­cin­pec secretary-general and co-min­ister of Interior, has or­dered his par­ty’s ministers and secretaries of state to explain why promotions for hundreds of party officials have been delayed.

Prince Sirivudh issued the order af­ter the passing of a June 15 deadline for the promotion of more than 500 Funcinpec officials to po­sitions as directors and deputy dir­ectors of departments in all gov­ern­ment ministries.

“The head of the government [Prime Minister Hun Sen] had set the deadline for June 15, 2005,” Prince Sirivudh wrote in his letter dated June 21. “So far I observe that there are no such appointments.”

He gave officials until June 27 to re­port on the reasons for the de­lay.

CPP spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said the prime minister never set such a dead­line and it was the Fun­­cinpec of­­ficials who were pushing for the promotions to be finished by June 15. The CPP ne­ver thought that date was practical, Khieu Kanharith added.

“Many Funcinpec leaders have never worked in the administration,” he said Thursday, adding that be­fore candidates are appointed, they must be verified as Funcinpec members and be judged competent for the job.

“If you want to promote somebody, there are rules you have to follow,” Khieu Kanharith said.  “Hun Sen wants to make it a long-term promotion. Conflict will arise if the people are not competent.”

Yim Voeunthan, Agriculture Min­­­­­istry secretary of state, said the de­lay was caused by the strict re­­gu­la­tions and procedures outlined for promotions by Hun Sen.

He said his ministry has ap­poin­ted 32 of 67 officials to new po­sitions, though the Finance Ministry’s secretariat of public functions still needed to review the ap­poin­tees.

Funcinpec co-Defense Minister Nhiek Bun Chhay said that Funcinpec and the CPP are still working well to­­gether at the upper levels, though possibly not at the lower ad­minis­tra­tive levels.

As a result, he said, the government is taking its time to ensure the new royalist promotions do not create conflicts.

The promotions are progressing “step by step,” he said.

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