The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has canceled plans for failed local election candidates to be appointed to advisory positions in the government.
The CPP won the majority of seats at the commune election on June 4, which also saw the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party secure a greater share of the vote. Official results are due to be announced towards the end of the month.
Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, said that rather than being offered government roles the unelected officials would be given positions in the party.
Critics of the scrapped policy, which was proposed in February, had suggested that appointing unelected party officials to government posts would be a waste of public funds and a display of favoritism.
However, the CPP justified its decision to promote failed candidates by pointing to their administrative experience.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in Cambodia, said the backtracking by the CPP would go some way towards alleviating criticism.
But he accused the ruling party of “malpractice” in favoring CPP members for advisory positions.
Khieu Sopheak, interior ministry spokesman, said the promotions would not affect the state budget. “It is the right of ministers to employ them as advisers. The ministers have their budgets,” he said.
According to preliminary results announced by the CPP, it won 1,158 of the 1,646 communes, with the opposition securing less than 500.