Briefs: Ex-Opposition Agronomist Gets Third Gov’t Role, Reshuffle in Siem Reap

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Agriculture Minister Dith Tina takes a selfie during a meeting with former GDP officials Yang Saing Koma and Loek Sothea and Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a photo posted to the premier’s Facebook page on November 28, 2022.
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Yang Saing Koma, formerly of the Grassroots Democratic Party, was made vice president of the governmental Council for Agricultural and Rural Development, his third position after defecting to the government last month.

In a royal decree dated Monday, the king appointed Saing Koma to the Council of Agricultural and Rural Development, a body that oversees agricultural investments.

Saing Koma formerly founded the Grassroots Democratic Party in 2015 alongside political analyst Kem Ley, who was murdered the following year. The GDP was a minor opposition party that made little inroads in elections but campaigned for transparency and policy over politics.

He joined the government late last month alongside two other party officials, Loek Sothea and Khat Sothy, and was initially made secretary of state of the Agriculture Ministry and a delegate minister attached to the prime minister.

Saing Koma also founded the NGO Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture in the late 1990s.

He could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

— Ouch Sony

Reshuffle in Siem Reap

Six Siem Reap districts saw a reshuffling of their district governors, with several of them promoted to work at the provincial level.

A sub-decree dated December 5 changed the positions of nine local administrators across the seven districts: 

  • Angkor Chum governor Lok Phos was promoted to the provincial level, and replaced by Banteay Srei deputy governor Phon Sokhom.
  • Angkor Thom governor Long Rothareak was also promoted to the province, and replaced by Chi Kreng governor Pov Bunthoeun.
  • Banteay Srei district got a new governor, Rin Lot, after its previous governor was promoted to be a deputy provincial governor in August. Lot was deputy governor of Kralanh before the appointment.
  • Chi Kreng governor Bunthoeun moved to Angkor Thom, replaced by Siem Reap deputy city governor Bou Mengtry.
  • Kralanh deputy governor Sok Nareth was promoted to governor. The former governor was made provincial deputy in August.
  • Sotr Nikum governor Mak Pros was promoted to the provincial level, and replaced by Battambang’s Thma Koul district governor Kim Vannak.

Separately, a royal decree dated December 10 made Kandal deputy governor Hak Sokmakara an assistant to Prime Minister Hun Sen, while another on December 19 gave Cambodian Mine Action Authority deputy director Prum Sopheakmongkul a rank equivalent to senior minister.

— Ouch Sony

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