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Opposition Leader Calls on Newly Elected Commune Chiefs to Serve Electorate


FILE: Kem Sokha, the president of the CNRP, joined the last day of the campaign in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 02, 2017. (Hean Socheata/VOA Khmer)

Speaking to officials in Kandal province, Sokha, whose party took seats in Sunday’s election from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in several provinces, thanked voters for choosing to support the CNRP.

The president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, Kem Sokha, on Wednesday called on the party’s more than 400 newly elected commune chiefs to serve their constituencies in a transparent manner.

Speaking to officials in Kandal province, Sokha, whose party took seats in Sunday’s election from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in several provinces, thanked voters for choosing to support the CNRP.

He said the party would implement a “monitoring mechanism” to ensure corruption would be kept to a minimum.

“The CNRP will create a mechanism to monitor the work implementation of our commune chiefs. Before we spot their mistakes, we will provide phone numbers, so that the people can call when the commune chiefs do something unusual,” he said.

He added that the party would provide anti-corruption training to the newly elected officials.

“[We] will train them with expertise in order to equip them with knowledge relating to administrative law and general skills to control the communes professionally,” he said.

Sokha went on to appeal to supporters to vote for the party at the general election in 2018.

Both parties claimed victory in the commune elections, with the CPP winning more than 1,100 of the 1,646 seats around the country and the CNRP increasing their minority share from 40 to more than 500, according to unofficial results.

The opposition has pledged to increase funding to local communes by as much as $1 million if elected in 2018, drawing criticism from the CPP. But Sokha dismissed the criticism, without explaining where the money would come from.

Sok Eysan, CPP spokesman, could not be reached for comment, but he said on his Facebook account that the CPP respected the results.

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