The Commune Council Elections, held 3 February, saw the beginning of a historic
shift in the way Cambodian political life is organized. Now the results have been
declared, how different will daily life be for ordinary people? Provided here is
a translation of material previously printed in the Voters' Guide published by the
Center for Social Development. This non-partisan guide published the unedited responses
from the parties to questions about the major issues of the Elections. It is reprinted
here as a reminder to both the voters, and the parties, of just what promises were
The Cambodian People's Party
To better the life of people in communes and sangkats, based on increasing development
in the main fields, which include: agriculture, road infrastructure, small industry,
handicrafts, tourism and human resource capacity building. Maintaining public security
and order in localized areas so that people can live peacefully, both physically
and spiritually. To strictly enforce the law, strengthen justice, social equity,
protect rights, freedom, obligations, and all legal interests of the people. Administration
of communes/sangkats must be clean, capable and must better serve the people closely
and honestly, in order to ensure that public service is effective and credible. To
unify people from all walks of life, political tendencies, ethnicities and religions
under the motto: Nation, Religion, King. To build up the communes /sangkats and actively
implement the political program of the Royal Government. To encourage and facilitate
women to run as candidates for the commune/sangkat election as much as possible by
qualification, capacity and moral responsibility. To pay attention to increasing
women's education about their rights and their role in society, family and community.
To build both public and private schools, to maintain and to better educational
institutes in local areas to guarantee the needs of students. To strengthen the implementation
of the "Education for All" concept - that is, all people, of all ages,
both women and men, are to be educated. To encourage all children of school age to
go to school, especially girls and children in remote areas, and to reduce abandonment
of study at primary school level in order to reach the aim of a local 9-year education.
To provide the right environment for people to participate in programs of literacy,
professional and continuous education, by broadening non-formal education to increase
people's capacity to solve their own problems, family issues and produce their own
To better people's health by expanding services, to encourage private health services
and to activate health centers or clinics in communes/sangkats. To step up measures
to prevent disease, especially for children, to take care of mothers and their babies
and to fight infectious diseases by building health centers in communes/districts.
To raise the conscientiousness, professionalism and morality of health staff at local
levels. To implement more clean-water, health education, sanitation and environmental
programs. To reach the goal of food security (to ensure that all people always have
enough to eat, security and good health) and nourishment.
To increase implementation of development plans in the main areas such as: agriculture,
road infrastructure, micro-industry, tourism, handicrafts and human resources training.
To promote rice planting, secondary crops, further crop diversity, and to promote
animal raising. To further implement the policy on land provision for family rubber
plantations and family rubber planting land, to people who produce and collect rubber.
To guarantee rightful land occupations and land titles for the people, to prevent
land abuses, and try by all means to provide people with land for housing and planting.
To organize and strengthen local forest communities, and to organize and strengthen
fishing communities in fishing areas that the government provides.
Strengthening, defending and maintaining the natural environment depends on guaranteeing
both natural and environmental continuity, based on the law of environmental defense
and natural resource management. To educate and encourage people and communities
to become involved in strengthening cooperation between local authorities and specialist
organizations to prevent pollution, keep the environment clean and rigorously enforce
environmental law measures. To boost the development of environmental tourism in
local areas for continuity, to maintain ecotourism areas, to establish more local
agriculture tourism, and to build resorts and generally improve tourism services
in the communes and districts.
Security and Safety
Step up people's awareness of and respect for laws, to improve morality and so
that they voluntarily take part in security and order in their own locales. Promote
a culture of peace amongst the people, teaching virtue, good behavior and attitudes,
along with friendship and respect for humanity based on freedom, democracy, justice,
non-violence and all discrimination. Encourage development of the economy, social
work, and improve everyday life to ensure strong security, order and safety in local
areas. Improve the ethics and capacity of officials implementing the law.
The Funcinpec Party
- Respect for the 1993 Constitution.
- Defense, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity as read in the fifth
annex of the Paris Peace Accords.
- Reform the administration so that it is neutral, free from corruption and transparent.
- Oppose corruption and embezzlement of state property.
- Strongly implement the immigration and nationality laws.
- Oppose all forms of the drug trade.
- Against dictatorship, militarism and violence.
- Since his first term, Samdech Krom Preah has considered that the Khum/Sangkat
Council elections will deeply push decentralization into villages and communes.
- Respect all international pacts on respect for human rights, rights of children
and women, and ethnic rights and convention on eradication all kinds of discrimination
against women. Virtually formed the Women's Movement of which Norodom Marie Ranariddh
is the honorary president and Norodom Bopha Devi's daughter is the honorary member.
This has been responsible for appointing women in province/ municipality leadership,
in government, parliament, senate and appointing women Khum/Sangkat candidates. It
also helps women to understand: gender, sanitation, the consequences of illiteracy,
housework, culture, Khmer traditions, and especially seeks to protect women from
hard labor and sex trafficking.
- To build more schools and educational centers in Khums/Sangkats and to increase
- To increase educational quality, improve programs, equip schools with required
instruments, labs, and to provide books and documents of a modern educational system.
- To provide better teacher training, and to improve the conditions for teachers.
To provide universal education, reduce illiteracy, make school attendance compulsory,
and to encourage people with disabilities and from different ethnic groups to go
to school and to make local education plans.
- Introduce professional training into education to ensure human resources with
high capacity for the job market.
- Retrain health staff, increasing the quality of clinics and hospitals.
- Educate and disseminate information about the importance of family and individuals
- Provide the people with quality health care.
- Support the building of health centers in all locales so the people are closer
to scientific advances.
- Support and encourage child nutrition programs.
- Improve the quality of midwifes.
- Promote immunization against tuberculosis, tetanus and measles for all children.
- Disseminate family planning and birth control advice.
- Establish programs to help care for AIDS victims.
Increase jobs, increase national production and introduce greater competition,
improve agricultural methods so that crops can be harvested 2 or 3 times a year.
Protect the land of farmers against abuses from powerful officials. To provide a
mixed program: a credit service to assist in planting rice and other crops, raising
animals, or for education, transportation, and irrigation etc. and developing markets.
- Make local management a priority, protect forests and encourage the extensive
replanting of trees.
- Defend the integrity of water and fish resources, absolutely ban foreign fishing
and illegal fishing. Manage water ecology through the National Mekong River Committee.
- Take care of water quality.
- Implement the land reform and management law with effectiveness and justice.
- Prioritize local efforts in protecting the environment from pollution, waste
- Strongly condemn the destruction of forests, wildlife, fish and mineral resources.
Security and Safety
FUNCINPEC tries to ensure the complete safety of our people. To promote peace
we have programs at Khum/Sangkat level to address issues such as: respecting laws,
building better capacity, effectiveness, transparency and public responsibility,
eradicating anarchy in cities and the countryside, eliminating robbery and militia,
eliminating local intimidation and guaranteeing the safety of all political tendencies,
arranging the armed forces to be the defenders of territory, people and the developer,
eliminating immorality and debauchery in village/commune.
The Sam Rainsy Party
- Eliminate all violence in society to ensure complete security and true peace
for the people.
- Protect and boost human rights and achieve a liberal democracy.
- Eliminate corruption and reform the judicial system.
- Boost social justice, helping the poor with a better life and dignity.
- Guarantee that public administration is neutral, independent and serves the people
without political or other discrimination.
- Reform land distribution with the aim that every farmer has enough farmland and
has sufficient shelter.
- Defend Cambodian borders with strong will, guarantee full territorial integrity.
- Deal with the immigration issue (i.e. foreigners who live in Cambodia illegally).
- Stop destroying forests and protect national and cultural property.
- Review and correct all public contracts that are illegal, unjust or do not serve
national interests. Implement a real decentralization policy for Khum/Sangkat in
which women hold at least 30% of positions. Promote and protect good governance and
rule of law, using resources to fill the basic needs for the sake of the country
in line with government policy.
Improve the education system with good pedagogic training and modern regulations
- like those in civilized countries - in Khums/Sangkats. Reform the education system
so that at least primary schools have enough teachers for children, without requesting
payment from them. Push professional training at colleges so that Cambodians have
real professionalism in their work, can earn enough income and live with dignity.
To reintroduce literacy programs and pagoda schools for people who can't read and
Reform the public health system so that there are sufficient physicians and instruments
to guarantee and protect peoples' health both in the cities and rural areas. Help
the poor with medical treatment. Allow for private services under the permanent control
of Ministry of Health and authorities, establish clinics and health centers in Khum/Sangkats
for first-aid treatment, rescue and hospital referrals. Introduce health, AIDS prevention,
and birth control programs. Train health staff and midwives in rural areas so that
they have better capacity for treatment and cure of patients. Encourage and provide
sufficient salaries for physicians who voluntarily work in the countryside.
Reform local land management systems so that people have enough farmland and good
shelter, dividing into farmland, industrial land, trade land, housing land and natural
resource land. Build enough irrigation systems in water-scarce and drought areas
and build roads to facilitate communication. Train farmers in modern agricultural
technology, establish credit systems in Khums/Sangkats and find markets with better
prices for farm products. Boost investment in processed agricultural products for
Stop logging by absolutely banning exports, allow only furniture and ready-made
wooden materials, replant trees nationwide, establish a national-level forest management
system, establish communal forests, forests for exploitation, reserved forests and
forests for defense. Put an end to all illegal exploitation of mineral resources.
Maintain and defend fish stocks and all wildlife. Prohibit factories from the center
of towns, and ensure that all waste products do not flow into rivers or lakes, but
that they are destroyed in a technical manner. Improve sanitation in public markets.
Encourage, through rewards, people who have made achievements in maintaining and
defending natural resources.
Security and Safety
Enforce respect for laws (eliminate the culture of impunity), boost social justice,
guarantee human rights and eliminate debauchery (gambling, drug trafficking, women
and children trafficking). Establish security commissions in Khums/Sangkats, and
urge people to participate in safeguarding their own security by informing authorities
about all criminal activities. Ensure that the administration of Khums/ Sangkats
is neutral, and does not discriminate because of political tendencies, so that it
acts for the public interest in order to develop Khums/Sangkats. Eliminate violence
in families by expanding education programs and addressing serious disputes.
Publication of this material was paid for by the Center for Social Development, a
non-partisan, nongovernmental organization which works to further democracy in Cambodia.
The Voters' Guide was made possible through the generous assistance of USAID through
The Asia Foundation, Civil Society Fund/CIDA and CIDSE-Cambodia.
Visit the CSD website: www.bigpond.com.kh/users/csd