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Hun Sen’s 5-Year Plan Met With Skepticism

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday announced the official plan for the next five years, building on four main pillars of development and political stability, but skeptics said they doubted the government’s commitment.

Topping the priorities for the government, Hun Sen said during the new government’s first cabinet meeting, will be the promotion of the rule of law and protection of human rights and democracy.

The government will also seek to maintain 7 percent annual economic growth, reduce poverty by 1 percent per year, and increase the effectiveness and credibility of public services.

Hun Sen’s administration was voted into office by newly-elected National Assembly lawmakers on Thursday.

“We must promote socio-economic and other responsibilities for all state works,” Hun Sen told nearly 248 members of the new cabinet, who gathered at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday morning.

Hun Sen also reminded the gathered officials not to maltreat the people.

“We must think of the poor more and more,” he said. “We must promote public services for the people.”

Critics of the plan, which Hun Sen distributed as a booklet, said Friday there were few signs the new government would be different from former administrations.

Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said he was not optimistic the four priorities of the government would work, because there were no signs of reform.

“What Hun Sen has said in his political platform is only on paper,” he said. “The CPP is good at promising, but the implementation is not reached. So whatever the government promises, if the government cannot reach it, all the ministers and the prime minister should step down.”

Opposition Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Yim Sovan said that if the government failed to reform the judiciary and pass a much-awaited anti-corruption law, “the government platform will fail.”

“I have little belief in the government to reach its political platform,” he said.

Thun Saray, president of the rights group Adhoc, said he believed stability and economic growth were attainable, but he was concerned poverty reduction and improved quality of public service would not be reached.