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Only sorrow for Rainsy's replacement

Only sorrow for Rainsy's replacement

S AM RAINSY'S replacement Nou Saing Khan believes "there is nothing to be happy

about" following his elevation to the National Assembly.

"For me, there

is only sorrow because we lost one of our family who used to work in the same

party with us," he said.

Saing Khan said he had known for a long time

that he would be promoted to Rainsy's seat if the former finance minister was

sacked as an MP.

"I am not surprised at all because this is what I have

long known about. The case of replacement is usual because my name is in the

proportional list (of MPs' registrations) so my replacement is lawful," he

said.

When asked what he thought about Rainsy's expulsion he said: "I am

very sorry for him".

"We lost one of our members but this is an

individual matter," he said.

He said he was not worried at all that some

people will not recognize him as MP because they used to respect

Rainsy.

"Scarcely had they heard of me, then they came (to me) at once,"

he said.

"A head monk from Ancheng came to ask me for a generator and I

gave him one. Now many people are following," he said.

Asked whether he

thought he would be disadvantaged being new in the job as an MP, he said: "No, I

don't think so because (the move) should be done this way."

He said he

planned many development projects in Siem Reap province following his promotion.

"We will co-operate with the Ministry of Rural Development to set up an

association to develop agriculture. We have more work to do and I will try my

best to highlight our people's living conditions," he said.

Sain Khan is

preparing to leave the Ministry of Public Works and Transport - where he is

currently Under Secretary - soon. The government is considering who will take

over his position.

According to the Cambodian Constitution anyone who

works in the government, except ministers and secretaries of state, are not

allowed to have any position in the Parliament, according to Ing Kiet, deputy

Prime Minister and Minister of Public and Transport.

When asked what

position he preferred of the two, Saing Khan said he liked the one where he

could best serve the country.

"I don't recommend any position. As you

know I have struggled for democracy since 1990 and now everything is achieved. I

am very happy even if I don't have any position."

He said he had already

turned down an offer to join the National Assembly once - last year during a

Cabinet reshuffle. However, as he had a government position he was passed over

in favor of another.

But this time he was the only member left on the

list.

He said all members of the Funcinpec party regretted the loss of

Rainsy.

He said one local newspaper which he asked not be named

criticized him when he was appointed as an MP but many local newspapers

supported him.

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