Nguon Socheat, son of the second vice president of the National Assembly, Nguon Nhel, became the new deputy governor of Kampong Thom province yesterday, according to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Socheat, who was previously deputy director of the American relations department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is taking the reins from the retiring Som Sophat, according to the document.
Sak Setha, secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, maintained yesterday that Socheat’s promotion to deputy provincial governor had nothing to do with his family connections.
“We promote the higher educated people to work for the government, not because he is the son of Nguon Nhel, [but because] Nguon Socheat has been abroad for studying,” he said.
Hoeun Sopheap, a Prey Lang Community Network member from Kampong Thom province, said in an interview yesterday that he hoped the new deputy governor would address the challenges that face the province, particularly surrounding illegal logging.
“Since the new deputy governor is a highly educated person, I hope that the trees in Prey Lang would be saved by him,” Sopheap said.
Former deputy governor Som Sophat could not be reached for comment. Nguon Socheat declined comment, citing a busy schedule.
Meanwhile, in Phnom Penh yesterday, Ministry of Interior Secretary of State Prum Sokha presided over the appointment of new Deputy Municipal Governor Suy Serith, who is replacing the late Chreang Sophan, who died in November.
Serith was formerly posted as deputy governor in Preah Vihear province.
Additional reporting by Chhay Channyda