Most of the political parties registered for the coming commune council elections say they are well prepared to provide training on the duties and laws of commune administration to their candidates.

Some parties said the training would be given to candidates should they be elected to commune chief or council members on June 5, while others said they would provide training ahead of the election.

Thach Setha, deputy president of the Candlelight Party, said on April 19 that his party already planned to provide training for the candidates – on the laws of administration management of communes/sangkats and on the policies of the party – as they had done ahead of previous mandates.

“Our provincial leaders have already begun improving our candidates understanding of our policies, and we will continue to gradually spread this knowledge throughout the country,” he said.

A vice-president of the Cambodian Nation Love Party said that after the candidates had shown they had the support of voters and won their posts, the party would train them on their roles and duties, and how to best serve the public interest, according to the law.

Loek Sothea of the Grassroots Democracy Party, said his party had started providing training to candidates before the election. Youth who were interested in getting involved and becoming candidates had always been taught about the relevant laws and about their own responsibilities, he said. The training also touched on the correct way to pursue politics and the dignity that politicians should show, he added.

“After they made the decision to stand, we train them in how to go about campaigning and about their roles serving the public as assigned by village chiefs,” he said, referring to the commune council member candidates.

He said candidates should have the qualifications needed to serve the public with quality, credibility, morality, and always in line with the policies and principles of the party.

Nhoeun Raden, spokesman for the Funcinpec Party, said that his party was also ready to provide such training to party candidates.

“However, our candidates are experienced and have served in these roles in the past. They are well educated and we will back that up in July with national-level training at our headquarters. This additional training will ensure that our candidates are ready to serve the nation,” he said.

Sok Eysan, spokesperson of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said his party’s candidates have enough experience in fulfilling the roles of commune chiefs and commune council members. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Interior will provide additional training to all elected council members, new and old, after the election.

“The interior ministry has a duty to train officials at the sub-national levels in accordance with the law on administration management, in order for them to understand their duties in serving the public interest – without favouring their own political party,” he said.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), said that providing training for candidates is important to make certain they have the qualities and knowledge needed to work for their communities advantage and development.

“It is necessary that new candidates of some parties need to be trained in their roles, duties, and the laws surrounding administration management of the commune or Sangkat to make them capable of developing their electorates should they win election,” he said.