Hun Sen To Create 200 Gov’t Posts For Women

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Thursday he would be creating 200 new posts for women in deputy provincial and district governor positions.

Speaking at the Interior Min-istry’s national conference, he ordered Interior Minister Sar Kheng to select women candidates for the new posts.

Hun Sen said no women currently serve as deputy governors, so an extra position for a woman is to be added to each province and district office.

“I believe women’s affairs are important,” he said. “Now you, Sar Kheng, can elect, and I will sign, and we will add more women if it is not enough.”

SRP Deputy Secretary-General Mu Sochua said she welcomed anything that would promote the status of women in Cambodia, but added that it should not stem from a single announcement by Hun Sen but a general policy of promoting women in politics.

“There should be a 30 percent quota,” Mu Sochua said. “It should not only be as deputies, but women should be in decision-making positions also.”

Hun Sen also warned an unnamed opposition leader, who appeared to be Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha, not to criticize him too much or he would reveal publicly that he had helped set up the unnamed leader’s party.

“Do not attack me too much,” Hun Sen said. “Some people want me to curse them so [the public] will think his party was not organized by Hun Sen.”

Kem Sokha denied Hun Sen had helped him set up the HRP.

“I never discussed my political party plans with him,” Kem Sokha said by telephone.

Hun Sen also warned against public demonstrations of “people power” following the July election.

“Do not use people power like in the Ukraine or the Philippines, because you cannot do that in Cambodia,” he said. “The people power is only through the election and they must respect the result.”

SRP leader Sam Rainsy said Thursday that popular demonstrations could still be brought to bear if election fraud was perpetrated.

“There will be people power if the government abuses the people’s will,” he said.

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