Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yun Min on Monday afternoon was granted permission to resign from his post by Prime Minister Hun Sen in the wake of the deadly building collapse in Sihanoukville that has so far claimed 25 lives.
The collapse occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning, with 24 construction workers having sustained injuries in the disaster.
The prime minister wrote on his official Facebook page on Monday that he had “agreed” to allow Min to step down, adding that he was in discussions with Minister of Interior Sar Kheng to bring in “Kouch Chamroeun from Kampong Cham [province]” to replace him.
In a message announcing his resignation on his official Facebook page, Min also offered his condolences to the victims' families and asked for “forgiveness” from the prime minister.
Yun Min will continue to spearhead the search and rescue operation until it is finished and new governor Chamroeun takes office, the prime minister added.
Also on Monday, Hun Sen announced the removal of Nhim Vanda from his position as first vice-president of the National Committee for Disaster Management, after he allegedly lied regarding the nature of the accident.
“I would like to confirm that today I decided to remove Nhim Vanda as senior minister and first vice-president of the National Committee for Disaster Management for lacking responsibility and telling a lie,” Hun Sen said.
The seven-storey Chinese-owned building was 80 per cent complete when it collapsed with construction workers staying inside.
Authorities have received severe criticism following the accident as they failed to halt the unauthorised construction despite numerous violations by the developers.