Hun Sen's son to stand in July election

Hun Sen's son to stand in July election

Strongman's successor tops party list, a requirement for aspiring Cambodian prime ministers

Hun Manet, 45 is currently commander of the Royal Cambodian Army. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Hun Manet, 45 is currently commander of the Royal Cambodian Army. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party has nominated his eldest son to be a candidate in the general election in July, a document showed on Saturday.

In a decision letter, a copy of which was seen by Kyodo News, Hun Manet, already endorsed by the Cambodian People’s Party as a future prime minister, is the first of 12 candidates on the party’s list for the July 23 election for the National Assembly.

Hun Sen, who has ruled the country since 1985, has hinted at stepping down but has said repeatedly that he will stand again as the only candidate for prime minister in the coming election.

Some government sources said Hun Sen, who turns 71 in August, might consider transferring power to his son, most likely after a Senate election that will be held in 2024.

Hun Manet, 45, holds several positions including the commander of the Royal Cambodian Army and the head of the country’s anti-terrorism forces.

According to the Constitution, a prime minister has to be a member of the National Assembly, unlike in Thailand where some aspiring prime ministers have opted not to be on party lists.

In the 2018 election, Hun Sen’s ruling party won all 125 seats in the lower house after the main opposition party was dissolved by the Supreme Court and many members fled into exile.

Cambodia holds a general election every five years.

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