Lawyer Ly Chantola was on Friday elected as the president of the 13th mandate of the Bar Association of the Kingdom of Cambodia (BAKC).

The BAKC said Chantola, who works at SVP law firm, received 1,444 votes, or 78.65 per cent of the total votes cast. Ket Khy, a lawyer from the Light of Justice law firm, received 130 votes. Sam Sokong, a lawyer at the BBC Office, received 56 votes. Sar Sovan received 41 votes and Sek Sophorn from Lawyer Firm Office R&L received 26 votes.

Chantola said each candidate had different viewpoints but they all agreed on the causes of the BAKC’s internal problems.

After being elected as BAKC president, Chantola said that while serving his new role for the next two years, he would stick to the platform he announced during his campaign.

“I would like to make the commitment again that in this 13th mandate, I will practice the eight mechanisms that I released. I also ask for cooperation, opinions and advice from BAKC members,” he said.

Chantola’s platform included making it more transparent to become a lawyer, enhancing lawyers’ abilities, building stronger partnerships with domestic and international institutions and increasing the lawyers’ reputation in the eyes of society.

Chantola, 42, is the youngest son among 10 siblings. His father was a former commune chief and his mother was a farmer. In 2002, he married a lawyer and they have three children together.

He has been a lawyer for almost 20 years with lawyer ID 581 and is currently a lawyer at SVP law firm. Chantola graduated from the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) in 1999 with a Cambodian bachelor’s degree in private law.

He also received a French bachelor’s degree in private law in 2000. Then he received a scholarship from the French government to pursue his studies in France. In 2002, he received his master’s degree from Jean Moulin Lyon 3 University.

In 2009, he was appointed by the King as a member of the Council of Ministers’ Council of Jurists and was later promoted to deputy chairman of the Council of Jurists – a rank equivalent to minister.

Outgoing BAKC president Suon Visal told The Post on Sunday that the election was carried out with transparency. Visal said he expects Chantola will finish the projects he started.

“My main goal which was not completed had to do with foreign relations. We wanted to create law firms in some countries where our citizens are staying. Another goal was to enhance relationships with judicial police officers. We also want to train more lawyers, especially in rural provincial areas,” he said.

Sophorn said he cannot make an assumption about Chantola’s leadership of the BAKC but is hoping for good results.

“I took part to fulfil the duty as a candidate and do not have any objection. The result of this election is very quick. I respect the will of the coalition.

“What I don’t agree with is the way campaigns [were run]. In the next election, I want campaigning [to be carried out] in an accurate and just way,” he added.