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Students on the election

Editor's note: The Post takes the pulse of the nation ahead of the July 27 general election. In this, the first in the series, we talk to first-time voters who are studying at three higher education bodies in Phnom Penh.

"I feel very happy about the election because we have a chance to choose a new leader." - Than, 21, at the National Institute of Management (NIM).

"I hope that the government can eliminate corruption but I think maybe they cannot. The actions of Funcinpec are not active like before so I think they are going to go down." - Piseth, 21, NIM.

"Most people in Cambodia would like to get a new government, but we cannot because the old government is much too strong. If a new party does win government, then I think it will be very difficult for them." - Pisal, 22, NIM.

"I hope the CPP wins. The CPP has been corrupt for a very long time and they have a lot of money already, so they are able to change their character. But if the new party wins, they don't have money yet so they will have to become corrupt." - Phanny, 22, NIM.

"Our social structure depends on the CPP. If we change the government then we have to change the structure of the whole society. But if we change it, Cambodia won't be stable and at some stage we could have a war. Sam Rainsy wants to change every structure in society. He wants to take tax from everyone, but people now don't have the money to pay tax so he can't succeed. To cut down on corruption step by step is good, but to do it all at once is too difficult." - Thin, 22, RUPP.

"I have no idea about who should win, because I don't watch the broadcasts." - Narin, 21, NIM.

"The old party has the experience to lead the country, even though they have no knowledge." - Sophat, 22, NIM.

"The young vote is different from the old vote. The old think about who helped them in the past, but the young think about who will help them in the future. The young will think about the leader who will help them to have a job." - Rattana, 18, NIM.

"All of the [television] programs just show the mistakes of Sam Rainsy and Funcinpec, but I think people know exactly the truth about the problems in July 1997." - Tha, 24, RUPP.

"We want respect for human rights, development and the elimination of corruption." - Lina, 21, RUPP.

"Young people think in the present, not in the past. The CPP helped in the past, but we want change for the future." - Bunthon, 23, RUPP.

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