Sok Sokan, son of Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, has been officially named deputy secretary general within the Council of Ministers – a rank equal to secretary of state – according to November’s Royal Affairs publication released last month.
Ek Tha, a spokesman for the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit, declined to comment in detail on Sokan’s work history, but said he had worked in government and was “a model youth”.
“He is friendly to the villagers; he is friendly to other government officials,” said Tha. “He has quite a good reputation, and is well-educated and speaks fluent English and French, and is very qualified to be a government official.”
In last July’s elections, Sokan ran for a parliamentary seat in Takeo province as one of of eight scions of high-ranking political figures – like Prime Minister Hun Sen and Interior Minister Sar Kheng – that the Cambodian People’s Party fielded as candidates.
However, all eight so-called dynasty candidates lost, though some have since been placed elsewhere in government.
Koul Panha, executive director of the election watchdog Comfrel, said that while the participation of political scions in government is hardly unique to Cambodia, the appointment process should be public.
“It is not good for the ruling party if the process of appointing their children is without transparency and the party members do not give those individuals any political credit,” said Panha. Sok An could not be reached for comment yesterday.