Vendors Meet With City Over Construction Fears

About 500 vendors from Phnom Penh’s Phsar Doeum Kor market on Wednesday gathered at City Hall to protest plans to demolish and rebuild the wholesale hub, worried that they will lose their stalls and be forced to purchase new ones.

The vendors signed 10-year contracts with the market in Tuol Kok district—which sells items in bulk to vendors at other markets around the city—in 2011, and on Wednesday asked municipal authorities to postpone their plans until 2021.

“I won’t get my stall after they finish the construction, and the price of a [new] stall might be very high,” seafood seller Muy Hong said Wednesday morning.

At about 8 a.m., most of the protesters were allowed inside City Hall and were told that construction of the new building would not go ahead without their blessing.

They were also told that they would receive new stalls free of charge.

“The vendors won’t need to pay any money, not even one riel,” municipal spokesman Long Dimanche said by telephone later. But some vendors were not convinced.

“They are just saying what they know will make us happy,” said Heng Somphas, another tenant.

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