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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP chief draws ire of governor over canal

Villagers inspect a road that an opposition commune chief was accused of damaging in Kampong Cham province.
Villagers inspect a road that an opposition commune chief was accused of damaging in Kampong Cham province. Photo supplied

CNRP chief draws ire of governor over canal

Kampong Cham’s newly appointed governor Kouch Chamroeun has threatened legal action against an opposition commune chief for helping to build a roadside canal that provincial and district level officials claim damaged a donor-funded road.

Cambodia National Rescue Party local chief Ven Samol raised the ire of officials for the excavation work in his Choeung Prey commune, which he yesterday said was in response to requests by locals to alleviate flooding in the area.

Samol, elected in June, said he assisted about 100 villagers in undertaking the work on August 5, which he said was necessary because rice fields in the area had regularly flooded since the construction of the raised dirt road, which he said was built with Asian Development Bank funds.

However, speaking yesterday, Chamroeun ordered Samol to return the road to its previous state within a week saying he had “no right” to use the commune’s budget to build a canal and “destroy” the road.

“It is an order, if he does not fix it we will take legal action because of state property destruction,” Chamroeun said.

Batheay District Governor Keo Bunnath also criticised the CNRP official for not asking for permission before work on the canal began, saying a plan needed to be put in place first.

In response, Samol said the canal had already been filled with earth, though lacking the $350 neccesary for a full repair, he said he had appealed for donations.

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