Hun Sen, Cambodian leader for 36 years, backs son to succeed him

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The prime minister says he supports his 44-year-old son Hun Manet to take the leadership through the election.

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Cambodia’s longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen endorsed his eldest son as his successor, paving the way for a political dynasty.


The 69-year-old, one of the world’s longest-serving leaders after 36 years in power, presided over a sweeping crackdown on the country’s opposition, civil society and the media, which began ahead of the 2018 elections.

“I announce today that I support the continuation of my son as prime minister,” Hun Sen said in a speech Thursday in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk.

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He said his son – 44-year-old Hun Manet, deputy commander and joint chief of staff of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces – will face an election, which is expected to take place in 2023.

Hun Manet graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point in 1999. He also holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Bristol, UK.

In the speech, Hun Sen also defended the idea of ​​establishing a political dynasty.

“Even Japan has its own dynasty, like [former Prime Minister Shinzo] Now His grandfather was the Prime Minister and he went to Cambodia. Abe’s father was the foreign minister and Abe was the prime minister.

Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which has been in power since 1979, holds every seat in the 125-member legislature, as the main opposition was dissolved ahead of the 2018 election, on which to plot to overthrow the government. was accused of.

Cambodian authorities have arrested several former opposition members and rights campaigners in recent years.

Western countries and human rights groups have long condemned Hun Sen for his crackdown on opponents and critics.

In June last year, Hun Sen said the CPP would be a dominant force in politics for a century, telling the opposition that it should wait until the next life if it wanted to take power.


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