Cambodia’s Hun Sen to resign and appoint son as PM

Source: BBC

Cambodia’s Hun Sen, one of the world’s longest-serving leaders, has announced he will resign as prime minister and hand over to his son in coming weeks.

The anticipated announcement came three days after his party again won all the seats at an uncompetitive election.

Hun Sen, 70, has become increasingly authoritarian after nearly four-decades of rule, analysts say.

He first flagged a transition in 2021, but until Wednesday, no one knew when that would take place.

His eldest son, Hun Manet, has long been groomed for the role and was until recently the commander of the Royal Cambodian Army.

On Wednesday, Hun Sen said his son would be appointed prime minister on 10 August.

“I would like to ask for understanding from the people as I announce that I will not continue as prime minister,” he said in a special broadcast on state television.

He said he would be stepping down as staying in office could cause instability. However he will retain leadership of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party – a position political analysts say still gives him ultimate control.

Earlier on Wednesday, Hun Sen was seen in a visit to the Cambodian monarch’s palace to announce the news. Cambodian state media broadcast visuals of the meeting.

Hun Manet, 45, took a leading role in campaigning for the 23 July election this year- and was often spotted leading rallies next to his father, who has ruled the Southeast Asian nation of 16 million people since 1985.Sunday’s election was widely seen as a done deal- because the only credible opposition party was disqualified from the vote.

There were 17 other parties on the ballot but they were all too small, new or aligned with the CPP to be considered a real alternative for voters.

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