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Women Parliamentary Candidates Increase

[Editor's note: In the weeks leading into national polls, VOA Khmer will explore a wide number of election issues. The "Election Issues 2008" series will air stories on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by a related "Hello VOA" guest on Thursday. This is the second in a two-part series examining the role of women in politics.]

Two of the three political parties with seats in parliament have boosted the number of women candidates in their ranks for July's election.

The Cambodian People's Party added six candidates to its ticket this election, up from 14 in 2003; the Sam Rainsy Party added three, also up from 14 last election.

Observers say the parties recognized the value women candidates can bring to the campaign.

The country needs parliamentary members who are women, said Mu Sochua, top of the SRP list for Kampot province, because women know the needs of women.

Ing Kuntha Pavy, CPP Minister of Women's Affairs, said women know better than men how to run social affairs, as well as the household.

"Women have become a point of interest for political parties," said Thida Khus, secretary-general of the Committee to Promote Women in Politics, adding that she hoped more women would not only be candidates, but be elected too.