Most Political Officials Keep Jobs in New Government

Prime Minister Hun Manet gives speech to the session of the National Assembly on Aug. 22, 2023. Photo: Ministry of Information

PHNOM PENH – Most politically appointed officials from the previous government have kept their jobs in the new government of Prime Minister Hun Manet, with some notable faces being unveiled.

The Ministry of Interior had the most reappointments.

At the request of Hun Manet, King Norodom Sihamoni issued royal decrees on Aug. 22 to terminate ministers attached to the PM, secretaries of state and undersecretaries of state of 29 ministries and institutions from the previous government while reappointing them.

Pen Bona, who is the top government spokesperson, and former RFI Khmer service managing director Tain Jean-Francois were among 29 officials appointing as minister delegate attached to the PM — non-ministerial posts. 

Other notable appointments are former senior monk Khy Sovannratana as Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Khin Finan, whose fame was established when he was Banteay Srei district governor, becomes Undersecretary of State of the Agriculture Ministry while Peung Kimchhen was promoted to Education Ministry Undersecretary of State.

The Ministry of Interior, now led by Deputy PM Sar Sokha, has 104 secretaries and undersecretaries of state,  followed by the Ministry of National Defense (86) and the  Office of the Council of Ministers (84).

State Secretariat of Civil Aviation has the fewest at 23 while the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology has 24. The ministries of Women’s Affairs and Inspection have 27 each.

Secretary and undersecretary of state positions are not parts of the cabinet.

Under Manet’s leadership, the cabinet consists of 10 deputy prime ministers, 21 senior ministers and 30 ministers.

King Sihamoni also appointed Ho Sithy as head of the PM’s cabinet. A senior minister, Sithy has been a long-time head of ex-PM Hun Sen’s cabinet. Hun Sen’s protocol team will continue to serve Manet.

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