CPP Officials Hold on to Disputed Building

CPP officials are still refusing to give control of a commune office building to the newly elected commune council in Kien Svay district, Kandal province, claiming the building is the ruling party’s local headquarters, officials said Wednesday.

“We still have no solution because the building in Viel Sbov commune belongs to the CPP,” Kien Svay district Deputy Gover­nor Chea Bunthoeun said Wednes­day. He added that the CPP has land titles for three commune headquarters in Kien Svay—Viel Sbov, Prek Thmei and Kompong Svay—to prove legal ownership of the land.

“We have enough evidence showing that the building be­longs to the party,” he said.

Chea Bunthoeun said the CPP received a land title document in 1993 from the district and provincial land management officer.

In late April, villagers protested outside the Viel Sbov communal office building and demanded that the CPP hand over control of the office. During the Feb 3 commune elections, Funcinpec took two seats and the CPP retained three seats on the commune council. Two Sam Rainsy Party commune candidates were elected to lead the commune, which transferred some of the power in the commune from the CPP to its political opposition.

Villagers said they sent a petition with 765 thumbprints to Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Interior asking for them to intervene in the matter.

Commune officials, however, said nothing has occurred since then.

“Nothing happened and they are trying to force us to leave again,” said Soth Say, Funcinpec second commune chief. He said that although no villagers are currently protesting the CPP’s refusal to hand over the communal office building, the villagers are not giving up their case against the ruling party. They are merely waiting to see the result of any government action, he said.

The building in Viel Sbov is a two-story concrete structure with a 10-meter bridge connecting it to National Route 1.


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