Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Old CPP chiefs a bane for new CNRP ones in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville

Old CPP chiefs a bane for new CNRP ones in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville

Veal Vong Commune Chief Chhuot Chhath (right), 65, and his deputy, Heng Seangleang, 33, photographed at the commune office yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Veal Vong Commune Chief Chhuot Chhath (right), 65, and his deputy, Heng Seangleang, 33, photographed at the commune office yesterday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Old CPP chiefs a bane for new CNRP ones in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville

Two newly elected opposition commune chiefs in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville are struggling to dislodge their Cambodian People’s Party predecessors following their recent swearing in to office.

Chhout Chhath, 65, who was elected commune chief in Phnom Penh’s Veal Vong commune, said former CPP Commune Chief Keo Sakol – now the current second deputy chief – refuses to vacate her office in the commune hall.

According to Chhath, Sakol suggested he work in a 5-square-metre room that does not presently have a desk or a chair. Chhath, who was previously second deputy for five years, currently sits at his old desk in the commune hall’s front room.

Sakol argued that she began working in the office in her current role before becoming commune chief in 2002. “[Chhath] wins and he wanted to kick me out; during my term he could sit anywhere,” she said. “This means he does not want us to work with him.”

First Deputy Commune Chief Heng Sean Leang, of the CNRP, said the matter would be reported to City Hall if the commune council could not resolve it during an internal meeting on Friday.

The newly elected CNRP chief for Commune 1 in Sihanoukville, Ouk Chettany, faces a similar problem, with the former CPP chief also refusing to vacate the commune chief’s office.

“He said that room belonged to him for a long time already, and said his documents are still there too,” said Chettany. “I am sitting in the meeting hall . . . If he will not hand over the room to me, I will sit in the meeting hall for the whole of my term.”

Chettany said a clerk will report the problem to the provincial governor this week.

Former Commune Chief Chhit Sophat, now second deputy commune chief, retorted that all the offices in the commune hall were of the same size. After he hung up the phone, he could not be reached for elaboration.

Nicfec Executive Director Sam Kuntheami said the former commune chiefs’ behaviour was out of step with their actual authority.

“Commune building is state property, and the new elected commune chief has the right to control it and to manage it for administration work,” he said.

Secretary of State at the Ministry of Interior Sak Sitha said that he has not yet received any reports about these cases. “Let them deal with it. This is how the subnational politicians learn how to work together.”


  • Tensions high ahead of historic Kun Khmer match up

    The long-awaited November 5 matchup between Kun Khmer legend Prum Samnang and Myanmar-Canadian boxer Dave Leduc has become the most anticipated fight of the year. The Wurkz Sena Kun Khmer promotion, which will be held at the Town Arena at Chip Mong 271 Megamall, will see six

  • Manet: Cambodia safe for travel

    Prime Minister Hun Manet acknowledged that Cambodia and China have cooperated to tackle internet scamming, fraud and other cross border crimes, but insisted that the “Kingdom of Wonders” is completely peaceful and safe. He welcomed tourists to come and explore its rich heritage. During a

  • UNESCO formally list Battambang gastronomy

    Battambang, renowned for its cultural heritage, has achieved a significant milestone as the first Cambodian municipality to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The UCCN unites nearly 300 cities prioritising creativity and cultural industries in local development plans and international cooperation. On World Cities Day,

  • Cambodia pivots to solar, wind energy

    Cambodia is planning a move towards solar and wind energy to meet its rising power demands, according to Minister of Mines and Energy Keo Rottanak. On the sidelines of the Singapore International Energy Week event held recently, Rottanak emphasised the urgency of diversifying Cambodia’s

  • Angkor causeway symbol of Cambodia-Japan ties

    In a historic moment marking another milestone in the 70-year-long diplomatic relations between Cambodia and Japan, King Norodom Sihamoni celebrated the formal inauguration of a causeway located to the west of the world-renowned Angkor Wat. While presiding over the November 4 ceremony, the King emphasised the

  • Manet calls for Cambodia’s railways to get back on track

    Prime Minister Hun Manet has instructed the relevant authorities to expedite studies into upgrades to the Phnom Penh to Preah Sihanouk railway line. He suggested that the maximum speed on the line should be increased to 80km/h, in order to expedite the transportation of