Anti-corruption campaign expects millionth thumbprint this month
Thursday, 24 April 2008 , Written by « Khoun Leakhana »   

A coalition of 11 NGOs who organized a ‘Clean Hand’ petition calling on the government to adopt long-awaited graft legislation has announced that over 980,000 thumbprints have been gathered since the campaign started late last year.

When the campaign period ends this month, the NGOs will submit a motion to Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin asking that they consider the petition’s request.


Yong Kim Eng, president of People’s Center for Development and Peace, said the petition is well on track to collect its target of one million thumbprints before the end of April. “Lots of people have expressed support and participated,” he said.


He added that he believes the government will take the request into consideration as one million is too many people to ignore.


“All political parties which win or lose the election always promise citizens that when their parties win, they will eliminate corruption. But obviously up to now. I don’t completely trust the government to consider the request,” said Heang Rithy, president of the Cambodia National Research Organization.


Mam Sithy, president of Cambodia Independent Anti-Corruption Committee, said her organization had been able to collect almost a thousand more thumbprints than it was asked to. “Our set plan was to collect only 21,700 but at this point we have received 22,649.” She said.


Sek Borisoth, director of the anti-corruption program at Pact Cambodia said, “Pact is an initiator for this petition which gives technical and financial support to local civil society associates to collect thumbprints from citizens who support a speedy adoption of the anti-corruption law.”


But Khieu Kanharith, government spokesman and information minister, responded, “Has civil society read the draft law yet? Because in the past we had many discussions about the issue in order to get some points changed. But in fact, the civil society hasn’t read it. They only collect thumbprints.”  


Extracted from:

- The Mekong Times Issue No53 Thursday, April 24, 2008.

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