Officials Vexed Over Reports of Gov’t Reshuffle Reports

CPP and Funcinpec officials re­acted angrily on Sunday to reports that a major reshuffle of ministers is in the offing and accused those be­hind the reports of attempting to sa­botage the one-year-old coalition gov­ernment.

Leading Khmer-language newspapers Rasmei Kampuchea and Kam­puchea Thmey also publish­ed denials of the pending reshuffle on Sunday, though opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay said the re­­ports of a ministerial shake-up were reliable.

“It is sabotage news aimed at splitting [the parties],” said Chea Chan­borebo, head of Funcinpec’s in­formation committee. There will be no reshuffle, he added.

Government spokesman and In­for­mation Minister Khieu Kanha­rith also denied the report, which he said was an invention of the op­position party.

But Son Chhay stood by the re­ports of a reshuffle, adding that Mi­n­ister of Posts and Tele­com­mu­nications So Khun was nam­ed as one of the officials destined for re­moval. Ac­cording to Son Chhay, So Khun has fallen afoul of the Council of Ministers over his re­fusal to award a mobile phone li­cense to AZ Com­pany—which is own­ed by CPP parliamentarian Ung Bun Hoav.

Khieu Kanharith said he did not know about a conflict over the li­cense. “Son Chhay always talks badly and criticizes the government,” he added.

Contacted by telephone on Sun­day, So Khun said he knew nothing of a reshuffle.“Maybe [Son Chhay] knows more than I do,” So Khun said from Chi­na, where he is traveling with a government delegation.

One government official who re­quested anonymity said Sun­day that eight ministers are re­portedly earmarked for the re­shuffle.


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