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New era dawns as power is handed over

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Srey Nhean, right, aand Lim Leng. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The country’s newly elected local politicians began their new jobs this week, following the NEC’s final confirmation of results on June 25.


Sak Setha, secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, said new commune chiefs and councillors were free to begin working yesterday, but local authorities could set different dates for the ceremonies at which they would receive their appointment certificates.

“It all depends on when the communes want to hold their ceremonies,” said Mr Setha, who added that all authorities would be expected to hand over power to the new politicians by the end of the week.

Mr Setha added: “After they have started working we will hold training courses for the new commune chiefs dealing with all commune affairs, including public service.”

The June 4 elections have left the CPP in charge of 1,156 of the country’s 1,646 communes, while the CNRP won 489 commune chief positions and one went to the Khmer National United Party.

Srey Nhean was in a joyous mood as he began work at Chak Angre Loeu commune in Phnom Penh yesterday, since he had been promoted from deputy chief to the top job.

“The first thing will be to strengthen people’s ability to take part in developing the area, improve living standards and provide better public services,” he said.

Mr Nhean, 57, said that he had remained on good terms with his predecessor and expected they would be able to work well together for the good of the community.

His optimism was shared by former commune chief Keo Savoeun, who said he would have no problem working with the newcomer because they had known each other a long time.

He accepted his decreased popularity reflected the fact he had made mistakes during his 19 years in the post.

Lim Leng, Phnom Penh’s deputy administration chief, said the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit required all commune councillors to declare their debts and property interests within 30 days.

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