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Kratie and Pailin governors dismissed

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Kratie Governor Sar Chamrong presides over the annual provincial administration meeting in January 2017. AKP

Kratie and Pailin governors dismissed

Two provincial governors, including the governor of Kratie, who oversaw a violent clash between protesters and police officers in March, will be removed from their posts this week.

Officials Tuesday said the transfers were routine, as both men were at or near the age of retirement.

Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, claimed Pailin Provincial Governor Koeth Sothea had reached the age of retirement, but acknowledged that Kratie Governor Sar Chamrong was below the age.

“It is just a little difference,” Sopheak said in regards to Chamrong’s age. “The Ministry of Interior will find a place for them to work.”

According to a document dated April 20 and obtained on Tuesday, Chamrong will be replaced by current Deputy Governor Va Thorn on Friday. Pro-government outlet Fresh News reported that Sothea will be replaced by his deputy, Phan Chanthul, on Thursday.

Ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan said the transfers should not be seen as firings.

“This is a negative judgment,” he said, characterising a transfer from the provincial hall to the Ministry of Interior as a promotion.

He added that unspecified reports that Chamrong’s removal was related to the clash in Kratie came from “ill-intended analysts”.