A ruling party lawmaker has petitioned the National Assembly and Senate to remove a district governor in the province he represents, following hundreds of complaints about abusive behaviour.
In a letter dated April 27 and obtained yesterday, Rattanakkiri province representative Bou Lam asked the Fourth Commission of the National Assembly and Senate to dismiss Banlung district governor Uk Sam Ol, after receiving 211 complaints from local businesspeople. Both men are members of the Cambodian People’s Party.
According to the letter, Sam Ol is accused of bullying local vendors and forcing them to contribute up to $400 each towards local infrastructure projects. He is also accused of illegally seizing some businesses and handing them to his associates.
However, the chairman of the Fourth Commission, Hun Neng, said yesterday only the Ministry of Interior had the jurisdiction to intervene in the situation.
“Resolution rests with the interior minister,” he said.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng and Ratanakiri Governor Pao Homphan could not be reached for comment.
According to Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator at rights group Adhoc, the situation stems from a dispute between Sam Ol and the administrator of a market, in which Sam Ol established a new marketplace and allegedly attempted to force vendors to move there.
Sam Ol yesterday claimed all of his actions were in keeping with official protocol.