The Ministry of Interior has approved the creation of three new districts in Phnom Penh following a proposal from City Hall to create five new districts before district and city council elections are held in May.
Sak Setha, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, said that the three new districts would be named Chbar Ampov, Chroy Changva and Prek Pnov, after large neighborhoods that already exist.
Splitting Phnom Penh’s nine existing districts will “make it easier to control the administration and provide services to the people,” Mr. Setha said.
He added that the Interior Ministry had scaled back on the municipality’s initial proposal for five new districts because it decided against creating new districts in the center of Phnom Penh, focusing instead on strengthening the administration of the city’s periphery.
“Even though there are numerous people in central Phnom Penh, it is still a small piece of land and the districts on the outskirts of the city are developing quickly, which has been a challenge to manage,” he said.
Prak Sam Oeun, director of the Ministry of Interior’s administration department, said that the plan would be sent to the Council of Ministers in the coming days, but declined to say when the new districts will be created, or how administrators will be selected.
Commune councilors, the vast majority of whom are loyal to the ruling CPP, will select new district and city councils in an election on May 18. District and provincial councils will also be elected in the country’s 24 provinces.
The three new districts in Phnom Penh will absorb communes from four existing districts, Mr. Sam Oeun said.
Chbar Ampov district will be composed of eight communes previously in Meanchey district, Chroy Changva district will include five communes split from Russei Keo district and Prek Prov district will be made up of five communes—three that were previously in Sen Sok district and two from Pur Senchey district.