Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen repeats vow to serve 10 more years, noting ‘it could be more’



Hun Sen repeats vow to serve 10 more years, noting ‘it could be more’

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to garment workers in Takeo yesterday, where he suggested he may stay in power beyond the 10-year deadline he previously set for himself. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to garment workers in Takeo yesterday, where he suggested he may stay in power beyond the 10-year deadline he previously set for himself. Facebook

Hun Sen repeats vow to serve 10 more years, noting ‘it could be more’

In a speech to garment workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen repeated his pledge to serve “not less than” 10 more years, while implying his rule over the Kingdom would extend even beyond that.

“I have already declared that I will continue to be the prime minister not less than 10 years. According to the calculation for the two mandates, in 2028 I will retire,” he said, before immediately noting, “it could be more”.

“The goal is to become an upper-middle-income country by 2030. By then I could still be capable,” he said.

The premier went on to thank his audience for wishing him happiness and longevity, but said rather than wishes, they should give him their votes.

“No need to wish. What is the best thing to do? Vote for the CPP [Cambodian People’s Party] and help Hun Sen stay with the people,” he said.

The premier reminded his audience that development is a product of “political stability” and claimed that to change course now would be to abandon the progress the country has made.

The chances of any change through the ballot box were virtually extinguished when the Cambodia National Rescue Party was forcibly dissolved in November, with some observers claiming that the country has effectively become a one-party state, though a smattering of small parties with little support have pledged to compete in the elections.

Jonathan Sutton, a researcher on Southeast Asian government repression at the University of Otago, said it was unlikely Hun Sen would ever step down voluntarily.

“Historically, dictators who have consolidated personal power in the way that Hun Sen has have very rarely stepped down . . . willingly,” he said via email, explaining most either die in office or are forcibly removed.

“The big problem for them is once you’ve stepped down and lost that access to power, how do you continue to protect yourself and maintain your interests?” he continued.

Sutton noted that signs point to the premier’s son Hun Manet being “groomed” as his successor – with Hun Sen likely still in the process of “building . . . support throughout the government and security forces” for Manet’s future takeover.

Also during his speech, Hun Sen turned his attention to CNRP co-founder and rival Sam Rainsy, who recently demanded the premier leave office.

“I was elected based on the Constitution and I want to send this message to you. Me or you, if we were elected via the Constitution, we need to go down via the Constitution,” he said.

Rainsy maintained yesterday it was Hun Sen who has ignored the constitutional requirements for leadership to be selected through elections by declaring his steadfast intentions to stay in power.

“Who is in power and for how long must depend on the will of the people as expressed through democratic elections. Hun Sen seems to ignore these considerations when announcing his plan for the future,” he said via email.

Read more: How Hun Sen’s 33 years compare

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian