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Successor reportedly picked for deputy role

MUNICIPAL cabinet chief Nuon Sameth was set to replace Mann Chhoeun as Phnom Penh deputy governor, a City Hall official said yesterday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the appointment had been suggested by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Mann Chhoeun, 60, announced his retirement late last week. He is expected to take a position at the National Foundation for Population and Development at the Council of Ministers.

He cited his age as the primary reason for his retirement, and said he hoped to continue working to alleviate poverty in Cambodia. “I am very happy with my new post,” he said yesterday. “I intend to keep working for poor people and poor communities across the country.”

In his stint as deputy governor, Mann Chhoeun played a prominent role in several high-profile land disputes, notably the Dey Krahorm eviction in January 2009. He was often criticised by rights groups for the forceful tactics employed by police during his term.

Mann Chhoeun said he couldn’t confirm the identity of his successor, and Nuon Sameth declined to comment.

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