Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Poll finds border a key issue

Poll finds border a key issue

Poll finds border a key issue

110124_6

Thirty-six percent of Cambodians feel that border demarcation is the most important issue impacting Cambodia, according to a nationwide poll conducted by the International Republican Institute last year.

President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Ou Virak, said that the government has learned it can benefit politically from border issues.

“In the past, the government has never mentioned border issues,” he said.

“After 2008, border issues have become a major issue with Thailand because of the Preah Vihear conflict.

“Even before 2008, a lot of border issues were raised by the opposition [Sam Rainsy] Party”.

IRI country director John Willis said that border demarcation polled highly as an issue in previous IRI surveys.

A 2008 IRI survey showed that, when asked about the three most important issues impacting on the country, the percentage of Cambodians who cited border issues and demarcation jumped from 5 percent to 59 percent between August 2007 and November 2008.

Ou Virak, however, said that while people care about border demarcation, they were unlikely to change their vote because of border issues. “It would be interesting to see whether the same people would be likely to vote because of that issue,” he said.

“My bet is no. The majority will vote on economic issues and things that affect them more directly like healthcare and employment”.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said that he had not read the IRI poll, but that border demarcation is an important issue for Cambodians.

“We have a number of intrusions by the Thai people, so people pay attention,” he said.

“They want to protect their homeland. And the media reports on it a lot.”

Representatives from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party could not be reached for comment.

The IRI poll, which attempts to gauge Cambodian public opinion, surveyed 2,000 Cambodians from across the country over July and August last year.

According to the poll, 76 percent of people believe the country is heading in the right direction – down from 79 percent in 2009 and a peak of 82 percent in 2008 – with a majority citing an increase in roads, schools and health clinics.

The poll also showed that 23 percent of people believe the country is moving in the wrong direction, with a majority citing corruption.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • EU timber deal in firing line

    A committee of more than 20 national and international organisations filed a petition to the EU on October 10 to prevent it from signing a timber trade agreement with Vietnam, noting that the deal would be disastrous to the Kingdom’s forests. The petition claims Vietnamese timber

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters