Cambodia's 1,621 communes will elect 11,257 commune councillors in the commune elections
scheduled for February 3, 2002.
The precise number of communes and the commune council seats was announced by the
Ministry of Interior (MoI) on April 30 following a detailed boundary delineation
The number of communes in the Kingdom is up from the previous figure of 1,606.
Leng Vy, Deputy Director of the MoI's General Administration Department said the
announcement would end confusion about previously disputed commune boundaries.
Countering allegations by opposition lawmakers that they were kept in the dark about
the details, adversely affecting their electoral preparations, Leng Vy said both
the proclamation for the commune boundaries and the sub-decree determining the number
of councillors in each commune were issued on April 30, followed by a radio broadcast.
"These are massive documents giving details on each commune. We couldn't have
sent them individually to all the parties. Those who are interested can collect the
document from the ministry office," he said.
Numerous urban communes have experienced a sharp population increase, therefore increasing
the number of potential eligible voters. In border areas and remote areas of Ratanakiri
and Mondolkiri, communes of several hundred households have boundaries that are said
to be under dispute.
According to Dr David Ayers, Project Leader of the Commune Council Support Project
(CCSP), outstanding commune boundary problems will be addressed by new commune councils
after the Feb 3, 2002 elections.
A comprehensive review of the commune council boundaries, he said, would be taken
up during the very first term of the new councils by a sub-committee that will be
set up under the National Committee to Support Communes (NCSC).
The latter is likely to be set up by a Royal decree by June this year.