Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday told Funcinpec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay to stop seeking political appointments to jobs in public administration, and vowed to stop such practices in the allotment of positions in the armed forces, the police force and the civil service.
“Having His Excellency Nhiek Bun Chhay present today, I would like to announce that from now that there should be no political appointments in public administrations,” Mr Hun Sen said at a ceremony at the Royal School of Administration.
“From now on there shouldn’t be any request from political parties, including the CPP,” the prime minister said, adding that if such a process continues, the country could collapse.
The prime minister added that he would like to see “extreme reform” in order to create a neutral military force, police force and civil service, and that he had told Minister of Interior Sar Kheng to appoint only officials who are qualified for their jobs and not because of political or family links.
“[Political appointments] in the public administration will create nepotism. If we continue we cannot have an extreme reform,” the prime minister said, adding that only the position of undersecretary of state can be appointed by political parties, but such officials must also be qualified.
Ending political appointments will also eliminate corruption in the public administrations, the premier said.
SRP spokesman Yim Sovann said that his party welcomed the prime minister’s call to bring political neutrality to the civil and security services.
“We support the idea. Civil servants should understand…they must be neutral. They must serve the people,” Mr Sovann said.
However, Mr Sovann said that he doubted the government would implement such a call.
“This is different from the reality. The government discriminates against any civil servant who is affiliated with the opposition. It is just to raise the ideas in order to confuse the public,” Mr Sovann added.
Mr Bun Chhay couldn’t be reached for comment on Wednesday.