A group of women running as opposition candidates in the upcoming local council elections has vowed to prioritize development, improve administration and protect the price of agricultural products if elected.
Sin Chanpoeurozet, who is standing as a Cambodia National Rescue Party candidate in Battambang province’s O’Char commune, said she would focus on infrastructure development and making administration more efficient if elected commune chief.
“Currently, when people go to ask for stamped letters or receive other administrative letters, some of them wait for [years] to get those letters. Thus, when I am elected to be commune chief, I will make it easier and help the people to receive services in the commune in a timely manner,” she said.
She said she would also attempt to alleviate poverty in the area and advocate for the government to increase transparency in funding allocations to the council.
“In general, people never know how much the government gives to the communes for development,” she said. “So the authorities can do whatever they want.”
“Although the budget is not much, we need to provide the people transparency and honesty as someone who represents them.”
Svat Vary, a woman candidate standing in Srah Raing commune in Bantaey Meanchey province, said one of the main concerns of her rural community was the low price of agricultural produce.
“In my commune, all farmers cry during the months of selling paddy rice because they are finding it difficult to sell rice,” she said.
Many of her constituents travel abroad for work, she added, so supporting the rights of migrant workers was also a priority, including assisting them to apply for passports and rebuilding damaged infrastructure, such as roads.
Millions of Cambodians are due to take to the polls on June 4 to elect new local councilors and commune chiefs across more than 1,600 constituencies.
Both major political parties, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, have fielded more women candidates this year in an attempt to win a larger share of the vote. The CPP has fielded 131 female candidates while the CNRP has 103 women standing.