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Vendors protest at verdict

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Photo by: Ppha Lina

Vendors from Prek Phnov market protest in front of the Appeal Court yesterday after a Municipal Court ruling allowing a demarcation wall between their market and an adjacent one was overturned.

About 100 vendors from Prek Pnov market in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district protested in front of the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh yesterday after the court ruled to overturn a municipal court decision on a demarcation wall separating Prek Pnov from a neighbouring market.

The Appeal Court ruling overturned an earlier decision by the Municipal Court on January 22 to allow the demarcation wall separating the two markets.

“Hundreds of vendors are upset with the appeal court officials. We will file complaints soon to Prime Minister Hun Sen, King Sihamoni and the Supreme Council of Magistracy to help us,” Roath Sopheap, owner of the Prek Pnov market, said yesterday.

Vendors said they had collectively contributed money to build the dividing wall in order to better distinguish the two markets, and that without it they are concerned the private market will seize their stalls and property or extort money from them.

“We [had] to spend too much money to rent stalls … at the private market. We don’t want the private owner to demand money from us,” said Ming Thorng, a Prek Pnov market vendor who used to sell at the neighbouring market.

Lim Chanthy, a Prek Pnov vendor, said the wall ensured that there would be no disputes between the two markets.

“The other vendors and I pay a daily fee of 500 riels (US $0.13) to the Prek Pnov market, and we feel safe and comfortable because we have security guards, electricity and good sanitation in the market. This is better than selling at the private market.”

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