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Commune chiefs berated

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Interior Minister Sar Kheng. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The ruling CPP commune chiefs who lost in June’s election must change their attitudes, according to Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

Mr Kheng presided over the annual meeting of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction at the Garden City Hotel in Phnom Penh yesterday.

He told all district and provincial governors in attendance that they needed to meet the commune chiefs who lost and tell them how to work with the people.

“They must change their attitudes and get to know the people. Some commune chiefs do not know the people and they have served as commune chiefs for a long time,” he said.

“They regard the people as their servants,” he added, saying they needed to unite the people in their community.

Mr Kheng said provincial governors or deputy provincial governors must meet with the commune chiefs and get them to change their habits. If they didn’t change, they would be removed from their positions.

He said if local authorities including commune councilors, police officers and village officials offered good public services, the results at the ballot would improve, otherwise they would only get worse. The CPP lost more than 400 communes in June.

“The most important thing we must pay attention to is providing good public services for the people,” said Mr Kheng.

On June 4, the CPP came out on top in 1,163 communes, with the CNRP winning 482 and the Khmer National United Party winning one.

However, after the Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP on November 16, the CNRP’s commune chiefs and commune councilors lost their positions, which were then handed back to the CPP candidates who had lost.

Lun Leang, the chief of Kraing Yov commune in Kandal province’s Sa’ang district who won in the latest commune elections, expressed his support for Mr Kheng’s idea.

“I think this idea is good, I support it,” he said.

Mr Leang said he received a majority of the votes because he always helped the poor people, always based his actions on the law and never bribed anyone.

“Whatever we do, we must do something good and moreover, we must not demand money from the people,” he said.

“We must respect the government’s rule and most importantly, we must help the poor people in our communes.”

Tbong Khmum provincial governor Ly Leng said he would respect and follow the idea of government leaders.

“I support his idea. We will meet them and ask them to review their mistakes again,” he said. We must provide quality public services in order to gain the people’s support.”

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