Provincial Governor of Kandal Replaced After Just 18 Months

Kandal provincial governor Phay Bunchhoeun, who was appointed to his position only last year, was replaced by the erstwhile chairman of the provincial council in a ceremony held in Takhmao City on Tuesday morning.

Mr. Bunchhoeun is now set to take up a position as an Interior Ministry undersecretary of state, despite having been removed as governor because he recently turned 60, the government’s official retirement age for civil servants.

Mao Phirun, the 54-year-old chairman of Kandal’s provincial council, was officially appointed governor of the province Tuesday after being named to the position on December 18.

“I was born in 1960 so I have not reached retirement age, and I was the elected chairman of the province’s council, so I am eligible to be appointed provincial governor,” he said by telephone after the ceremony.

“I start to hold my post from today onward.”

Mr. Phirun said he would focus on improving the delivery of public services to Kandal’s citizens.

“I feel very happy about the appointment,” he said. “Most importantly, I will strengthen public service delivery including improving infrastructure, order, security, safety, and the promotion of private investment and business.”

Mr. Bunchhoeun, the outgoing governor, was a CPP lawmaker between 2003 and 2007. He then served as Kandal’s deputy provincial governor until May 2013, when the government reshuffled a number of the country’s provincial governors in the lead-up to that year’s national election.

“I have been appointed…an undersecretary of state at the Interior Ministry but I am not sure exactly when I will take my post,” he said.

“However, I believe it will be next week because generally free time is not allowed to last too long.

“There will be an internal meeting to talk about my responsibilities there,” Mr. Bunchhoeun added. “I feel so happy that the government gave me this opportunity because actually I should have retired due to my age.”

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