As it whittles down its candidates for June’s commune election, the opposition party has started holding ballots to settle who will get on its lists in areas where intra-party negotiations failed to narrow the field.
In the first vote of its kind for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, 253 villagers in Koh Cho Ram commune in Kandal province’s Khsach Kandal district yesterday chose five out of 11 candidates, as well as their respective order on the list, to contest for the opposition.
The winner, Mak Chamroeun, who now takes the top spot on the ballot and will become chief if the CNRP wins the commune, yesterday welcomed the outcome, saying he looked forward to serving his community if successful in June.
“I’m determined to serve in line with the party and government and will spend the assets and resources I have,” Chamroeoun said.
CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang, who attended yesterday’s vote, said the party wanted to be fair in its selection of candidates.
“If through compromise we cannot agree together, [we] let citizens in the grassroots decide their fate,” Chhay Eang said.
The party had planned to hold such elections in 48 communes across 11 provinces, though some communes had already been resolved, he said.
The ruling Cambodian People’s Party also plans local ballots to select candidates in communes, though unlike with the CNRP contests, in which all villagers can votes, the choice will be left to CPP members, said party spokesman Sok Eysan.