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CPP still rules Boeung Kak, Borei Keila

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Former Borei Keila residents were bussed to a polling station in Phnom Penh on Sunday. The bus was reportedly arranged by supporters of the Cambodian People’s Party. Photograph: Nicolas Axelrod/Phnom Penh Post

Critism of the Cambodian People’s Party has been overt in recent months as those from Boeung Kak lake and Borei Keila have taken to the streets to vent their frustration and anger at their housing situations.

But an equivalent backlash at the polls was nowhere to be found on Sunday, and both communities – like most other parts of the country – remain under CPP control after the nation’s commune elections.

Despite this, some residents in Boeung Kak and Borei Keila are still expecting change – because the government has promised it, Boeung Kak lake resident Doung Kea told the Post yesterday.

“We are waiting for authorities to give us a resolution about our land dispute, because they claimed they would after . . . commune elections,” he said.

Doung Kea, like others, is still waiting for a land title at Boeung Kak and expects the government to demarcate the 12.44 hectares of land it promised residents in August.

“Through the CPP’s policy, it has proclaimed that if their party won, they would make an effort to resolve all these people’s issues.”

It might not be so straightforward, though, according to Keo Sakal, the commune chief who presides over Borei Keila in Prampi Makara district’s Veal Vong commune.

After winning on Sunday, she asked the CPP’s secretariat-general Say Chhum to urge Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema and Suy Sophan, the owner of development firm Phan Imex, to provide solutions for those who have slept under stairwells and near rubbish since their eviction on January 3, she said yesterday.

“But the Borei Keila issue is not my jurisdiction, so I am afraid of giving a solution for them,” she said.

Am Sam Ath, senior technical adviser for Licadho, said yesterday many residents from Boeung Kak and Borei Keila were expecting authorities to find solutions.

“I hope [the government] will resolve the . . . land dispute problems. If not, it could affect voters in the national election next year,” he said.

Chhay Thirith, chief of Srah Chak commune, where Boeung Kak is situated, declined to comment yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Khouth Sophak Chakrya at sophakchakrya.khouth@phnompenhpost.com
Shane Worrell at shane.worrell@phnompenhpost.com

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