Battambang has named a new governor, but not without some controversy.
Former Deputy Governor Nguon Ratanak will replace Chan Sophal, who is retiring. But a Ministry of Interior notice announcing the promotion yesterday came with a stern rebuke of Deumtnot News (DTN7), after the site posted an article before the appointment was made official claiming corruption.
The site alleged former Battambang Governor Prach Chan orchestrated the promotion and also made a vague claim that Ratanak had forked out $500,000 for the role.
In an October 9 letter circulated yesterday, the Ministry of Interior responded to the outlet, calling the report “a baseless accusation and an exaggeration with the intention to defame, spoil the dignity and to confuse the public about the leadership of the Ministry of Interior”.
A DTN7 employee, who declined to be named, said he was worried the government would sue, and that the report was based on an interview with no hard proof of corruption.
Ratanak yesterday said he did not pay for the position. “If all appointments are done through bribery, this would affect our honour,” he said. Sophal and Chan could not be reached.