Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng recently requested governors in Phnom Penh and the provinces to specifically set their administrative borders and send documents to the ministry by the end of the year to address issues related to the commune elections for the fifth mandate.
Sar Kheng sent a letter informing the governors on November 13. The letter said that while some administrative borders on the sub-national level had been set, there were still several yet to be precisely marked.
“We therefore cause controversy in managing [administrative borders]. It negatively affects providing public services to people, preparing development plans, protecting security and order and various work in those areas,” said Sar Kheng.
The ministry requests municipal and provincial governors to push research committees to check the borders that have been created in the past to study and evaluate any conditions that may require a change.
Sar Kheng also instructed the governors to analyse the situation, tackle the issue and maintain unity, according to the letter.
When they report back to the ministry with updated borders, the ministry will have a foundation to suggest ideas to the government.
Licadho deputy director Am Sam Ath said on November 15 that in the past, there have been many issues for people regarding borders, especially land disputes. Authorities force each other to solve problems when there is border confusion as well
Sam Ath said: “Not setting specific municipal and provincial borders also causes other problems for people, like clarifying identity cards. People don’t know which specific provincial administration they should go to.
“The provincial administration also does not dare to give clarification. Therefore, setting specific borders is a good responsibility of provincial, district and commune administrations,” he added.
The National Election Committee (NEC) deputy secretary-general Som Sorida said on November 15 that commune election laws allow citizens to elect representatives to their commune leadership.
“Setting specific borders is setting actual borders of each commune. Setting specific district and commune borders is therefore helpful for the NEC in registering voter lists according to law,” he said.