F’pec Wants Half of Ministries, CPP Says No

Funcinpec has demanded 50 percent of all positions in the new government, in a power-sharing proposal CPP officials immediately rejected and claimed would further prolong the 10-month deadlock.

According to a copy of the royalists’ proposal, which was submitted to the CPP on Friday, Funcinpec asked for full control of 12 government ministries and one state secretariate, as well as the governorships of Phnom Penh and 11 provinces, leaving the CPP with the same number of government posts.

It also demanded the establishment of five deputy prime minister positions, two of which would go to Funcinpec, and a 50 percent quota for all civil servant positions.

Funcinpec spokesman Kassie Neou said Sunday that his party has called for an even split of power based on the CPP and Fun­cin­pec’s powersharing arrangement following the 1993 general election.

“It is fair because in 1993, the Funcinpec party offered a lot,” Kassie Neou said, referring to the royalists’ agreement to share government positions with the CPP despite its overwhelming win at the polls that year.

The proposal, however, flies in the face of the CPP’s offer to grant Funcinpec a 40 percent share of government positions and retain 60 percent for itself.

CPP spokesman Khieu Kanha­rith said the royalists’ latest move has raised yet another obstacle in their monthslong negotiations and raises questions about Fun­cinpec’s commitment to end the political deadlock.

“It is very difficult to discuss [Funcinpec’s] proposal. Right now, we don’t know whether Funcinpec wants to form a coalition government with the CPP or not,” Khieu Kanharith said Sunday.

“We cannot accept” Funcinpec’s proposal, he said.

In Friday’s proposal, Funcinpec asked to head the ministries of Foreign Affairs; Economy and Finance; Education, Youth and Sports; Health; Rural Development; Public Works and Transport; Tourism; Culture and Fine Arts; Women’s and Veterans’ Affairs; Cults and Religions; and the Ministry of Parliamentarian and Senate Relations Inspection. It would also take charge of a new Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, as well as the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.

Funcinpec would also install governors in the provinces of Kandal, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Prey Veng, Kampot, Oddar Meanchey, Mondulkiri, Stung Treng and Kompong Speu and the municipalities of Sihanoukville and Kep.

It proposed that the CPP take control of the remaining provinces and the ministries of Cabinet; Planning; Commerce; Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Land Management and Urban Planning; Environment; Industry, Mines and Energy; Water Resources and Meteorology; Social Affairs; Posts and Telecommunications; Information; Justice; and the State Secretariat of Public Function.

In addition, Funcinpec and the CPP would share co-ministries of National Defense and Interior. For these two ministries, the proposal stated, there would be four secretary of state and six undersecretary of state positions that would be divided between the two parties equally.

Funcinpec made no mention of establishing a ministry of immigration, which it had earlier claimed was one of its key demands in entering a new coalition government with the CPP.

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