Pailin provincial governor Y Chhien, a former Khmer Rouge commander and bodyguard of Pol Pot, will be replaced by a deputy this week after being elected as president of the provincial council in recent sub-national elections, government officials have said.
According to Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak, the government has decided to replace Chhien due to his new position and taking account of the fact that he has reached the age of retirement.
Chhien has been governor of the former Khmer Rouge stronghold for over a decade. He lit the funeral pyre of former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary at his funeral last year.
Koeut Sothea, one of Pailin’s deputy provincial governors, will replace Chhien.
Chhien could not be reached for comment, while Sothea said he was hesitant to comment but happy that the government and King wished to promote him.
“I will make an effort to serve and work hard,” he said.
The official handover is scheduled for Saturday.