Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Phnom Penh’s 5 New Districts Create Fears of Gerrymandering

Son Chhay
By Alex Willemyns, The Cambodia Daily, Nov. 19, 2013

Phnom Penh City Hall’s plans to undertake the largest redrawing of the city’s administrative boundaries in decades, by creating five new districts before May’s district and city-level council elections, is likely an effort to gerrymander voting constituencies, a senior opposition party member said Monday.

Municipal government spokesman Long Dimanche said on Sunday that City Hall would create five new districts before the council elections by either partitioning or redrawing the boundaries of the city’s existing nine districts.

CNRP chief whip Son Chhay said that redrawing the city’s districts before the elections could see new boundaries drawn around Phnom Penh’s 96 communes to secure the ruling CPP more council positions than it would win now if the nine district borders remained intact.

“They know the numbers for the coming district and provincial elections based on the commune councilors, so this isn’t for administration, it’s for political gain—for gaining more members on the district councils,” Mr. Chhay said.

Phnom Penh’s 810 commune councilors will turn out on May 18 to vote in elections for the councils of the districts in which they are located, as well as in an overall election for the Phnom Penh municipal council.

An overall victory for the CPP in the council elections is likely, with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party holding 570 of the 810 city councilor positions following the July 2012 commune elections.

Political analyst Kem Ley
Political analyst Kem Ley dismissed suggestions from the government that redrawing Phnom Penh’s districts, which had two new districts added in recent years to the original seven, was to increase administrative efficiency, adding that the new “political arrangement” would ensure the CPP maximizes its votes.

“They will arrange the sangkats [communes] the CPP won, and those the CNRP won, and arrange them accordingly in order to vote in more khan [district] councilors for the CPP,” Mr. Ley said.

Sak Setha, the Ministry of Interior’s secretary of state in charge of decentralization, denied the redrawing of the borders had any political motive, saying that such a move was normal ahead of an election.

“Before local elections, we normally review the boundaries and if possible—if we need to change the boundaries or so on—we create new administrations to improve the provision of public service,” he said.

National Election Committee Secretary-General Tep Nytha declined to comment on the redistricting until more details are announced.

(Additional reporting by Phorn Bopha)


Anonymous said...

HUN SEN plans to create more Districts and Provinces this is part of Vietcong sticks how to control Opposition supporters, when they have many sub districts this is the best way how to control people.

Anonymous said...

អ្វីដែលយើងចង់បាននោះគឺការផ្លាស់ប្តូរមួយដោយពិតប្រាកដ! ថាតើយើងត្រូវផ្លាស់ប្តូររបបភ្នំពេញអាយ៉ងយួនដោយវិធីណា? ចំពោះអ្នកនយោបាយនោះមានតំណោះស្រាយអាចនឹងធ្វើការផ្លាស់ប្តូរបានទើបអ្នកនោះឬក្រុមនោះពិតជាអ្នកជាតិនិយមពិតប្រាកដ! បើពុំមាននូវតំណោះស្រាយទេនោះគឺពិតជាអ្នកជាតិនិយមបង្រ្គប់កិច្ចបោកប្រាសពលរដ្ឋខ្មែរហើយ.សូមខ្មែរទាំងអស់ស្វាងឡើង..! ភ្ញាក់រលឹកឡើង..!
ឈប់រស់ក្រោមការបោកប្រាស់ ញុះញង់របស់ គណបក្សសម រង្ស៊ី តទៅទៀតទៅ ពួកគេ បានបោកប្រាស់អ្នកទាំងអស់គ្នា

Anonymous said...

i don't believe in gov't conspiracy of some sort. it think gov't will do what they see as best for the country of cambodia. you can disagree, but don't be paranoid all the time. for one, phnom penh is changed in size, thus gov't has to look for way to accommodate and govern that size changes as well. don't be afraid all the time, rejoice some much needed changes.

Anonymous said...

11:46AM you rejoice in hell with your CPP crooks.

In all our experience, Hun sen always take advantage of the country. Srok Khmer is not his to do what he wants, srok Khmer belongs to the people- Khmer!

Why the 'government' does not ask for people's opinions before it changes their city like that? In developed countries the government takes their people's view/opinions very seriously !

If the hun sen government is not communist, it should listen to the people! Open a forum for discussion with people living in that area and take their concerns serious!

Anonymous said...

Because Hun sen government is a RETARTED government lead by the RETARTED prime minister hun sen himself.

Anonymous said...

Dear compatriots,

During this crucial time in our history, we should understand and accept most of the precautious measures taken by the CPP's leaders after the election.

We should use this analogy: what would we do when we caught a big fish with a small line ? we use time to make that fish got tired before we lift it up.

The tasks to remove the election’s loser CNRP and Sam Rainsy from power require patience, perseverance, flexibility, and great determination.

So, please be patient !!

So far, this CRNP illegal party has been playing dumb by acting like it is the winner of the election and ignoring all local and international critics.

The loser CNRP must go !!

Khmer people have voted you (CNRP) out !!

The CNRP's time is finished !!

Best wishes and good luck to the CPP and its leaders for their noble efforts to save Cambodia from the traitorous CNRP’s party and its evil leader Rainsy.

Bullshit Thoeun