More than sixty vendors at Memot market in Tbong Khmum province protested in front of the district hall yesterday morning, demanding the privately run market be transferred back under state control.
Memot district police officer Him Sarak said the demonstrators were angry about the high fees they must pay to rent stalls at the market.
“There are more than three hundred stalls and each has to pay about $200 per three-year term. About 60 vendors protested yesterday. They have protested several times. The district and provincial halls keep giving them promises, but there has been no actual solution,” he said.
“They want the market to be brought back under state control and they want to see documents relating to the market owner’s lease and how many years the contract lasts,” he added.
Mr Sarak said the vendors fear the market could be sold to a third party, depriving them of anywhere to sell their goods.
Protesters told local media they were unable to profit from their businesses because of the high fees charged by market owner Ly Kimleng.
Mr Kimleng could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Provincial Adhoc coordinator Neang Savath said vendors have protested about the issue several times to no avail.
District Governor Cheng Bunra said his administration is working on the case, but it will take time.
“We are resolving it, but we cannot deal with it as quickly as the vendors want. We have to review and check the case first,” he said.
Provincial Governor Ly Leng added he is working with the district administration on the matter.