Influential deputy prime minister Sok An dies
Just days after he was awarded the title ‘Samdech Vibol Panha’, which translates roughly to ‘Lord of Greatest Wisdom’, Cambodia’s deputy prime minister Sok An finally succumbed to a battle with long-term illness on 19 March.
The head of numerous other state institutions, Sok An played a pivotal role in Cambodian politics and was often likened to a Hindu god with 48 arms.
His political ascendancy owed much to his close relationship with Prime Minister Hun Sen, who allegedly set aside $750,000 of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP)’s funds to pay for the funeral.
On 22 March, Hun Sen contradicted reports that 67-year-old deputy prime minister Bin Chhin would inherit all of Sok An’s responsibilities, saying that the sprawling portfolio would be split up between a number of ministries.