12 February 2009

New councilors must not link to Taiwan, PM warns.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned that district, provincial and communal councilors who will gain power from the central government through an upcoming indirect election must not link relationship with Taiwan, according to reports of local newspapers.

“The Kingdom of Cambodia has to respect the one-China policy regarding its foreign policy,” Hun Sen said yesterday during a decentralization and de-concentration forum at Chaktomouk theater in Phnom Penh, reports Kampuchea Thmey.

“Officials at all levels can celebrate Chinese New Year… but not Taiwan. Cambodian political officials are not allowed to [officially visit] Taiwan, and Taiwanese political officials will be also banned from entering Cambodia,” he claimed, considering Taiwan a province of China, writes Rasmei Kampuchea.

Cambodia will hold district, provincial and municipal councilor election in May in accordance with the decentralization and de-concentration policy in which the central government shares power with local authorities, according to Kampuchea Thmey.

To avoid confusion, Hun Sen told soon-to-be councilors that they have no rights to promote any government officials and that their foreign policies should be approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before they are laid down.

According to the law on power sharing between central and local officials, the local councils can request removal of provincial and municipal officials if they are found acting against the law.

As the central government can not provide effective control over all the remote areas of the country, the local administration is formed and equipped with staff, finances and other resources, Hun Sen said, writes The Phnom Penh Post.

“We hope that the reform will provide better services and bring about a reduction in poverty,” he claimed.

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