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Election law amendments imminent

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
Former opposition supporters at a rally. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said that the government is working to amend the law on provincial and district council elections in a move to increase the number of council seats.

Speaking to thousands of garment workers in Kandal province, Mr Hun Sen said that the Ministry of Interior is working on the amendment to increase council seats for each district and province.

“I discussed it with Samdech Krolahom [Interior Minister Sar Kheng] yesterday to increase councillor seats in districts and provinces,” he said. “We are amending the law on provincial, municipal, and district council elections.”

“We will issue a sub-decree to increase the number of seats of councillors in districts and provinces,” Mr Hun Sen added, noting that the increase of councillor seats varies according to each district or province.

The third election for provincial and district council members is scheduled to take place on May 26 and all 11,572 current commune councillors will vote.

There are 393 seats in Phnom Penh and the 24 provinces, and 2,931 seats for all districts.

Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak said that the amendment will be approved and come into effect before the provincial and district council elections in May.

“We are drafting it and we will pass it on to the inter-ministerial working group to check and then send it to the cabinet for approval,” Gen Sopheak said.

Gen Sopheak said that the amendment was aimed at responding to recent development, population growth, and administrative expansion to help smooth the work of each province and district.

National Election Committee spokesman Hang Puthea said the NEC will be ready to hold the election as scheduled.

“We are responsible and are always ready to hold the upcoming council election,” Mr Puthea said.

Mr Hun Sen also affirmed that the dissolved CNRP’s council councillors could not be reinstated.

In the 2017 commune elections, the CPP won 1,156 communes and the CNRP took 489.

Then, the National Election Committee reallocated more than 5,000 of the dissolved CNRP’s commune council seats to the ruling CPP and other parties after the Supreme Court dissolved the party last year.

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