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
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.