Planning Minister Chea Chanto was sworn in Monday as governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, but questions still lingered over why his predecessor stepped down.
“A lot of gossip has been flying around about me, but it is not true at all,” former governor Thor Peng Leath said after the ceremony. He did not elaborate.
His resignation letter, which he read at a ceremony attended by Cabinet Minister Sok An and Finance Minister Keat Chhon, also gave no indication why he resigned. Instead, he reviewed his time as governor since 1994.
One NBC official said the bank’s policies likely won’t change despite the new leadership, and incoming governor’s comments at the ceremony seemed to echo that sentiment.
Chea Chanto, who has held the planning minister post since the mid-1980s, said he would work to fulfill the government’s five-year socio-economic plan.
Among his goals, he said, are to strengthen the commercial banking sector, build confidence in the riel and keep inflation under control, as well as reduce poverty and malnutrition.
Keat Chhon expressed confidence that Chea Chanto, whose banking experience came in the early 1980s during the People’s Republic of Kampuchea regime, when he was the deputy director of the national bank, would have no problem functioning in a market economy. “He has worked in many battlefields,” Keat Chhon said.
Thor Peng Leath has been appointed as a general adviser to the government. It is not known who will replace Chea Chanto as planning minister.