Battambang to Discipline Official Who Alleged Appointment Irregularities

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Battambang Provincial Hall on May 8, 2022. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

A district administration chief in Battambang has resigned in protest over alleged irregularities in the appointment of official positions, prompting the province to vow action against him for “his undisciplined views.”

On Monday, Sangke district administration chief Kong Sokuna submitted his resignation to the Interior Ministry, saying he was unhappy with the appointment of two new deputy governors in his district that he claims did not follow ministry protocols.

“There are irregularities that cause me to suffer injustice,” he said. “It is the reason I have mental health issues.”

“Due to the above, I respectfully resign.”

Sokuna, whose letter was widely shared online, did not detail the alleged irregularities further and could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Battambang deputy provincial governor Soeum Bun Rithy, however, said that everything the administration did was by the book.

“When we do something, we base it on procedures and regulations and there is nothing related to the individual,” Bun Rithy said.

“We are organized to comply with the policies and instructions of the government and Ministry of Interior to fill the city and district official positions to meet the demands of the sub-national level.”

Sokuna was “out of line” and the province would discipline him further, Bun Rithy said.

“The provincial administration will not be silent for his views without discipline and policy, and the province will take action against him.”

The government in June expanded the size of local administrations, increasing the number of provincial governors and deputies across the country from 175 to 275, and district governors and deputies from 1,020 to 1,428. The growing ranks have led to promotions and reshuffles across local administrations.

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