Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has requested the formation of a working group with representatives from the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and high-ranking government officials in order to motivate and encourage municipal and provincial governors and the authorities at all levels – from commune chiefs and councils to commune police and village chiefs – to serve the people selflessly out of civic duty, honour and patriotism.
Sar Kheng made the remarks while presiding over the appointment of the new governor of Stung Treng province and as the 2022 commune election approach.
“I’d like to point out four important people or positions that can have a great impact and thus bear a heavy burden of solemn responsibility for the integrity of the paper ballots we end up counting here in Cambodia, but it is also a task that if done accurately, correctly and honestly will bring them great honour that is worthy of their pride.
“The first person is the commune chief, then the commune clerk, the commune police chief and finally the village chief,” Sar Kheng said.
He said the National Election Committee (NEC) is in the process of verifying the voter registrations of all voters nationwide and he urged the authorities to provide appropriate security teams for this work.
He said the success at the commune elections depends on the efforts of commune and village chiefs, in addition to officials climbing up the ladder to the heights of power in the nation beginning with district leaders and then the provincial administrations on up to the central government.
Sar Kheng said the authorities must issue identification cards, birth certificates and other documents without any delay to prospective voters in the upcoming election.
He warned police officers not to demand bribes or extort money from people while providing these services for them if they wished to retain their jobs after the elections are wrapped up and no matter who wins.
Sar Kheng also encouraged local authorities to get organised and be familiar with the land disputes and other serious issues affecting voters in their area and whether it is before or after the next elections. Once they have those problems identified, all it should take is one or two more meetings to reach solutions.