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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chamber election postponed a month

Chamber election postponed a month

T HE election day for Cambodia's Chamber of Commerce has been postponed because

not enough businesses have registered to vote.

The election was to have

been held on September 8. It will now occur on October 15.

Lou Lay Sreng,

secretary of state for the Ministry of Commerce, said the postponement was

unsurprising because notice of voting interest had not been widely circulated

and some businessmen "don't know the importance of a chamber of

commerce".

According to several business people interviewed by the Post,

not only did they not know what the chamber was about, but they prefered to

concentrate on their own businesses.

A foreign business expert believed

that locals were not interested in voting for a cabal of businessmen who might

all work only for their own interests, rather than those of members. "That's a

pity, because a well-run chamber of commerce provides a forum for businesses to

liase with the government, and vice versa," he said.

One local business

owner said that rich businessmen only wanted to enhance their reputation by

getting themselves involved in the chamber.

Lay Sreng said that although

the commerce, industry and service "sections" of the chamber had enough

candidates and prospective voters, the agricultural section - with only one

candidate - did not.

Under Ministry of Commerce rules, the agriculture

section should have had four candidates.

Lay Sreng said the farmer voters

lived far from Phnom Penh and were largely unaware of the elections.

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