The government has announced the formation of six new communes in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Speu, Battambang, Kampong Chhnang and Kratie ahead of the commune council elections set for 2022.
The move was made official in a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on August 20. The establishment will commence with the 5th mandate commune council elections.
For the time being, the current commune councils still exercise authority over the villages which will eventually be added to the new communes once the new councils take office.
According to the sub-decree, two communes have been formed in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet town called O’Chrov and O’Russey.
O’Chrov commune will consist of seven villages cut off from Poipet commune while O’Russey will be formed by carving five villages from Phsar Kandal commune.
In Kampong Speu province, the new commune is called Yeay Mao Pich Nil and is located in Phnom Sruoch district. It will be established by taking nine villages from Treng Trayoeng commune.
In Battambang province, the new commune is called Buo Vil and it is in Bavel district. It will be formed with nine villages taken from Bavel commune.
In Kampong Chhnang province, a new commune called Phnom Kraing Dey Meas will be organised in Rolea Ba’ier district.
In Kratie province, the new commune called O’Kandier Senchey will be formed in Sambor district.
In a separate letter issued on the same day as the sub-decree, the government also revised the administrative boundaries of three communes in Kampong Thom province’s Santuk district – Boeung Lvea, Kampong Thma and Prasat.
That revision has four villages in Boeung Lvea commune – Trapeang Tim, Koh Bang Bangkov, Trapeang Prey and Boeung Lvea – added to the administration of Kampong Thma commune. Two other villages in Boeung Lvea commune will also be added to the administration of Prasat commune.
After the new communes begin operations, Kampong Speu will have 88 commune council seats for the 2022 elections, while commune council seats in Battambang will increase to a total of 103. Banteay Meanchey’s commune council seats will increase to 67.
The government has set June 5 of 2022 for the 5th mandate commune council elections, with the total number of seats up for grabs in the elections having now risen to 1,650.
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said in August that the government planned to establish more communes before the 2022 commune council elections to make it easier for people to access public services near their home villages and increase government responsiveness.