Ten Funcinpec officials, including four recently removed from their posts for lacking adequate qualifications, have been re-appointed as deputy governors of Phnom Penh, Pailin Municipality and eight provinces, Funcinpec spokesman Nouv Sovathero said Monday.
Four of the 10 were among 43 Funcinpec officials removed from their posts shortly after the Khmer New Year in April and were supposed to attend a six-month training course in government administration. The remaining six were removed from other government jobs, Nouv Sovathero said.
“They have enough ability that the government accepted them back,” Nouv Sovathero said in explaining why they did not attend the training course.
Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the re-appointments on May 18, he added.
Uo Bun, Funcinpec’s former deputy governor of Kompong Speu province, was appointed a deputy governor of Phnom Penh, and Chan Sam An, former deputy governor of Kep Municipality, was appointed deputy governor of Siem Reap province, Nouv Sovathero said.
Funcinpec officials who are still in training at the Royal School of Administration will eventually be given other positions, as agreed during an April 11 meeting between Funcinpec and the CPP, Nouv Sovathero said. Koul Panha, director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections, said the re-appointments indicate that the CPP is more interested in flexing its control over Funcinpec officials than removing incompetent officials.
“It’s not a matter of skills, it’s a matter of political intention. [CPP officials] wants to show that they are preserving the coalition, but they give Funcinpec officials no decision-making power,” he said. “I think the CPP wanted to show their political power and control.”
Government spokesman and Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said the re-appointments were a concession to Funcinpec, and a demonstration that the coalition agreement remains strong.
“The appointments were in response to requests from Funcinpec’s leadership,” he said.