WASHINGTON DC —
Newly elected councilors at the sub-national level should be prepared to do their jobs, or risk losing public confidence, an expert observer says.
Ok Serei Sopheak, a specialist in governance, told “Hello VOA” on Monday that the provincial and district councilors, selected in a small election earlier this month, “have no time to drag along in addressing people’s concerns.”
“Otherwise, they will lose votes in the next election,” he said.
The sub-national councilors were elected in a closed vote May 18 by local commune councilors. Five parties took part, but the ruling Cambodian People’s Party won a wide majority of positions.
The councils were created to move services closer to citizens, Ok Serei Sopheak said. “They are like parliaments at the provincial and district levels, with their roles to provide checks and balances on the work of district and provincial governors and to ensure the satisfaction of the people.”
The system has received some criticism, by opponents who say the councilors will be reluctant to challenge the decisions of the governors, who are appointed and often come from the same party.
Ok Serei Sopheak said that the concerns were “understandable,” but that the councils will improve as time goes on.