Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Governor blocks meeting between CNRP, councillors

Governor blocks meeting between CNRP, councillors

Opposition leader Kem Sokha (centre, standing) at a meeting with elected local leaders on Saturday in Siem Reap province
Opposition leader Kem Sokha (centre, standing) at a meeting with elected local leaders on Saturday in Siem Reap province. Facebook

Governor blocks meeting between CNRP, councillors

A scheduled meeting at a hotel between opposition leader Kem Sokha and a group of opposition commune chiefs and councillors was blocked yesterday by Kampong Chhnang Governor Chhour Chandoeun, who contended the party needed approval from the Ministry of Interior, even though no law requires such permission.

In a letter last Wednesday, the party informed the governor of the workshop scheduled for yesterday afternoon at the Raksmey Sokha New York Hotel in Kampong Chhnang district.

The workshop was purportedly aimed at strengthening commune management.

But in a letter on Friday, Chandoeun denied permission because the Cambodia National Rescue Party had no approval from the national level.

“They should request [approval] through the . . . Ministry of Interior, so when I get their consent I can approve it,” he said yesterday.

Chandoeun cited the fact that the workshop would be discussing matters at the commune level as justification for the Interior Ministry’s involvement.

However, the Law on Commune/Sangkat Administration does not require a particular party to request permission from the ministry to hold capacity-building trainings with commune chiefs and commune council members.

Keo Tha, provincial CNRP executive committee chief, said the party would still hold the training today, though it would do so at its headquarters with just half of the original 250 attendees.

After Chandoeun blocked the workshop, the hotel owner allegedly changed his mind about renting the venue to the opposition.

“We regret the provincial governor’s decision because we just want to improve the capacity of our staff,” Tha said by phone yesterday. “They are very [much] restricting our work now.”

Elsewhere, a workshop organised by rights group Adhoc in Ratanakkiri province and scheduled for this Friday was also banned. Pen Bonnar, a senior land and natural resources investigator at Adhoc, said Ratanakkiri Provincial Governor Thorn Savorn forbade the gathering.

He said Savorn had been invited to speak at the workshop, but had declined to participate.

“Then the governor did not allow us to have the workshop,” he said, adding there was a meeting today with the governor to further discuss the issue.

“We continue to advocate [with] the provincial governor,” he said.

Savorn couldn’t be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

MOST VIEWED

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a

  • Textile industry minimum wage now $200

    The official minimum wage for workers in textile-related sectors including garment, footwear, and travel goods for 2023 was pegged at $198, with Prime Minister Hun Sen stepping in to add $2 to the total, making it $200 per month. The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training made the announcement