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Women vow to lead communes into the future

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Sin Chanpeourozet, CNRP’s commune chief. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Young women elected as communes chiefs for the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP have their differences but are united in their vision of a better future for their communities.
On Sunday, Khuon Somaly, 35, kept the top job for the CPP in Kompong Kreng commune in Kampot province. Her party got four seats and the CNRP took the other three.
She was elected to the commune council in 2007 and became commune chief in 2012.  
Ms Somaly said her priority was to build up infrastructure in her commune. 
“The first thing I want to do is construct and repair roads destroyed by floods in the past,” Ms Somaly said.
“After this I will make sure there is electricity and clean water across the commune. I think infrastructure is the lifeblood of the people.”
Ms Somaly said that she and other commune councillors would serve locals according to their needs.
“Doing good acts is very important if we want people to support us with majority votes,” she added.
Ke Bunkhieng, chief of the CPP’s youth working group, said about half of the party’s 132 female candidates were elected to lead their communes. 
“They have already achieved a lot and will serve their people well in the future,” he said.
CNRP candidate Sin Chanpeourozet, 32, was elected to lead O’Char commune in the heart of Battambang province.  In her commune, the CNRP got seven seats – three women and four men – while the CPP took four seats. Across Battambang city, CNRP won eight communes and CPP took two.
Ms Chanpeourozet said she had been a deputy commune chief since 2012.
“My first priority as commune chief will be to deliver better public services. In the past people complained about services being too costly, bureaucratic and slow,” she said.
“My colleagues and I will go down to meet people in their villages and ask them that what they want us to do. We will also tell the people to monitor the activities of commune authorities.” 
Ms Chanpeourozet said another priority would be to focus on children and the environment. 
In her commune, 60 percent of children come from poor families that lack access to education, suffer health problems and do not have proper sanitation.  
“On Tuesday, I visited a woman who gave birth to her baby on her own at home because she is a low-paid worker and did not have enough money to go to hospital.”
Ms Chanpeourozet said her commune used to have a health centre but no longer does, so she hoped to reinstate one. 
“I thank all the people that supported me. I will do my best to serve the people,” she said.
Meng Sopheary, director of election affairs at the CNRP, said that about 34 of 103 female candidates were elected as commune chiefs on Sunday.
“I believe they will become good commune chiefs,” Ms Sopheary said.

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