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Political Parties Join Anti-Corruption Ceremony

Cambodian Buddhist monk, right, casts his ballot in local elections at Wat Than pagoda's polling station in Phnom Penh, file photo.
PHNOM PENH - Six separate political parties that plan to contest the July elections have signed onto a petition calling for an end to corruption.

The parties, including the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party and the royalist Funcinpec, joined a ceremony Wednesday organized by Transparency International to support anti-corruption measures and the punishment of corrupt officials.

The ruling Cambodian People’s party and the Khmer National Party were not present at the ceremony.

Preab Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said Wednesday’s ceremony underscored each party’s policies and strategies for eradicating corruption if they are elected.

“What we are doing is rescuing our nation,” Son Chhay, a lawmaker for the Sam Rainsy Party and candidate for the Rescue Party, said Wednesday.

The Rescue Party has made the fight against corruption a major part of its platform leading into the July 27 national elections. If the party wins, Son Chhay said, it will seek to keep its promises.

“If we cannot do as we promise, to fight corruption, I believe the CNRP leader would dare to resign from his position, without outside requests,” he said. “If we win the election.”

Funcinpec Cabinet Chief Phan Sithy said his party too was working to end corruption and “rebuild society,” where human rights are respected.

The party is hoping to “eradicate all forms of corruption, as well as strengthen law enforcement against corrupt officials,” he said.

Representatives from the League for Democracy, the Republican Democracy Party, the Khmer Economic Development Party and the Khmer Anti-Poverty Party issued similar statements Wednesday avowing their commitment to ending corruption.