More than 500 Funcinpec officials will be promoted to director and deputy director positions in departments within government ministries by June 15 despite concerns the government is already bloated and top-heavy, several officials confirmed on Monday.
Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh proposed the appointments on May 19 to Prime Minister Hun Sen who responded that the promotions must be made by June 15, Funcinpec spokesman Chea Chanborebo said.
The promotions were intended to fulfill an agreement between Prince Ranariddh and Hun Sen, Chea Chanborebo said.
“It reflects long-lasting cooperation,” he added.
Funcinpec lawmaker Tuot Lux said the 500 officials are already working for the government and are not being promoted to fill vacant positions that have never been filled.
“So it would not require the government to expand its budget,” Tuot Lux maintained.
Vu Kimpor, a CPP undersecretary of state for the Health Ministry, said the new appointees must work for the good of the nation and not simply themselves or their party if the promotions are to help the government.
Others were skeptical.
Critics said the promotions would do nothing but funnel more government money into useless positions.
“There are only a few people doing all the work. The rest are moonlighting. It’s a waste of human resources,” Chea Vannath, president of the Center for Social Development said.
“Most of these positions they created,” said Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections.
Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay accused the government of rewarding Funcinpec officials for nothing and added that he believed the newly minted officials will find ways to use their positions for personal benefit.
“[They] will find other means
…to make extra money,” Son Chhay said.