In a speech aired on national television on Wednesday (26/07/2023), Hun Sen announced that his son Hun Manet would take over as prime minister in the coming weeks.
“I met the king and said I would not remain prime minister again,” Hun Sen said.
“I have to make sacrifices and give up power,” he said.
The character of Hun Manet, his father's deputy
Then who is Hun Manet?
According to The Guardian, Hun Manet is a graduate of West Point Military Academy in the United States (USA).
The 45-year-old holds a master's degree from New York University and a doctorate from the University of Bristol.
Both degrees are economics.
Hun Manet will be named as his father's successor in 2021.
He has received the support of the Cambodian People's Party to become the “future prime minister”.
On Sunday (23/07/2023) it was declared that Hun Manet had won a seat in the National Assembly and is now eligible to hold that office.
“If my son doesn't live up to expectations, I will resign my role as prime minister,” said Hun Sen, the Phnom Penh Post reported.
When asked if his son would rule Cambodia differently, Hun Sen said that “any difference could disrupt the peace and undermine the achievements of the older generation”.
Despite leaving office, Hun Sen becomes President of the Senate in Cambodia.
He acts as head of state when the king is abroad.
Hun Sen, who has been in power for four decades, said that during his rule he brought peace, stability and economic growth and rebuilt the country after the horrors of the Khmer Rouge.
Hun Sen was once the commander of the Khmer Rouge but defected to Vietnam and helped overthrow the regime that killed an estimated 2 million Cambodians.
Under Hun Sen, Cambodia was a close ally of China and received Chinese investment through foreign aid, loans and other deals.