Hun Sen backs eldest son to succeed him

Hun Sen backs eldest son to succeed him

Cambodian army chief Gen Hun Manet, right, inspects an honour guard, escorted by then-Thai army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong, during a visit to Bangkok on April 2, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)
Cambodian army chief Gen Hun Manet, right, inspects an honour guard, escorted by then-Thai army chief Gen Apirat Kongsompong, during a visit to Bangkok on April 2, 2019. (Photo: Reuters)

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, one of the world's longest serving leaders after 36 years in power, on Thursday offered support for his eldest son as his potential successor and defended the idea of establishing a political dynasty.

Hun Sen, who has presided over a broad crackdown on the opposition, civil society and the media in the Southeast Asian country that began in the run-up to 2018 elections, has in the past said he planned to rule until he felt he should stop.

His son, Hun Manet, 44, a deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and joint chief of staff, graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1999.

"I announce today that I support my son to continue as prime minister, but it is through an election," Hun Sen said in a speech in the coastal province of Preah Sihanouk.

Hun Manet also has a doctorate in economics from Britain's Bristol University.

Hun Sen defended the idea of establishing a political dynasty.

"Even Japan has its own dynasty, like (former prime minister) Abe. His grandfather was prime minister and he had visited Cambodia. Abe's father was a foreign minister and Abe was a prime minister," He said.

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

Western countries and human rights groups have long condemned Hun Sen for crackdowns on opponents, civil rights groups and the media.

In June last year, Hun Sen said the ruling party would be a dominant force in politics for as long as a century, telling the opposition it should wait until the next life if it wants to take power.  

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (8)

Rare dolphins, whales spotted in Upper Gulf

Irrawaddy dolphins, Indo-Pacific finless porpoises and Bryde's whales have been detected in areas of the Upper Gulf of Thailand, says the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

09:05

One-stop centre to spur FDI in the offing

The government is establishing a new one-stop service centre to stimulate foreign direct investment and outlays on international headquarters and regional offices.

08:44

Inmates can watch the World Cup

The Department of Corrections (DoC) will allow inmates to watch broadcasts of the football World Cup 2022 in prisons across the country.

08:12