Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday announced he has authorized all CPP officials in the government and Parliament to appoint defectors from the Sam Rainsy Party to adviser positions.
Speaking at a Kompong Thom province pagoda inauguration, the prime minister made a personal request to Tourism Minister Thong Khon to appoint former SRP members as advisers to his ministry. He also asked National Assembly First Vice President Nguon Nhel and National Bank of Cambodia Governor Chea Chanto to take on opposition party defectors as personal advisers.
Hun Sen said he would personally make sure that the sub-decrees or royal decrees needed for the new appointments would be put through.
“We want them to have government positions in addition to their party work,” Hun Sen said.
The prime minister again defended his government’s hiring of so many ministry appointees and advisers ahead of the election, saying it was the CPP’s right as the ruling party.
The SRP has claimed the CPP has been using government positions—and the ensuing paychecks—to purchase defections.
“They say that we are buying people. We are the ruling party; we have the right to appoint them to have positions of power,” Hun Sen said. “Please wait; when you win, you can appoint people,” he joked.
Hun Sen said his final speech ahead of the election will be in Pursat province June 23.
“They are attacking me; the attack is getting serious by the unethical group,” he said, without specifying the group he was referring to.
SRP President Sam Rainsy reiterated Wednesday that it was not appropriate for a political party, which is a separate entity from the state, to use government positions to lure people to its ranks.
“This is very inappropriate. The government must use its money to develop the country,” Sam Rainsy said by telephone.
“[Hun Sen] should not use government money to serve his political party,” he said. “Hun Sen has placed more value on the SRP [defectors] than his CPP officials.”