Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - As election nears, 400-plus new generals are minted

As election nears, 400-plus new generals are minted

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
RCAF Lieutenant General Hun Manet places a star on a navy brigadier general at a promotion ceremony in March. The military minted some 400 new brigadier generals in February, according to a recently obtained decree. FACEBOOK

As election nears, 400-plus new generals are minted

Prime Minister Hun Sen in February minted more than 400 new generals in yet another round of mass military promotions, which one observer characterised as a “loyalty scheme” deployed as elections approach.

According to a royal decree signed by King Norodom Sihamoni and dated February 27, 434 army colonels have been made brigadier generals, while four members of Cambodia’s navy also received one star.

The promotions are part of an initiative to elevate soldiers who have served since before 1979, the decree states.

The new batch is in addition to more than 550 new general stars handed out in the last year, further swelling the Royal Cambodian Armed Force’s upper echelons, estimated to have between 2,000 and 3,000 generals.

Speaking yesterday, Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said the promotions, which come with a $13 monthly salary bump, according to recent wage figures, showed the military’s gratitude for the troops’ service and sacrifice in helping to topple the Khmer Rouge.

“We do not consider it related to the election. We promoted them because they have struggled for a long time,” said Socheat, who could not recall how many generals RCAF now employed.

Jon Grevatt, a regional defence analyst for IHS Jane’s, said the premier was deploying a long-used tactic to secure support as elections approached.

“As Cambodia moves towards this critical juncture, these types of loyalty schemes will likely increase as a way for Hun Sen to maintain his hold on power,” Grevatt said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHAUN TURTON

MOST VIEWED

  • CNRP supporters rally in the streets of Tokyo

    Supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Monday rallied on the streets of Tokyo, demanding Prime Minister Hun Sen’s resignation and urging the Japanese government to “save democracy in the Kingdom”. Some 400 protesters in the rally, which was organised by

  • GMAC makes EU plea to consider job losses

    In a statement set to be published on Monday, the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) said the EU’s possible withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) access would harm 750,000 workers and three million families. The GMAC statement, seen by The Post on

  • Four dead in Preah Sihanouk, Ratanakkiri flooding

    At least four people have died and thousands of families affected by flooding in Preah Sihanouk and Ratanakkiri provinces following recent heavy thunderstorms. Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesperson Kheang Phearum said on Sunday that a Cambodian husband and wife were killed on Thursday when a concrete

  • LPG gas explosion injures 13 people, including foreigners, in Siem Reap

    An explosion on Wednesday at a liquid petroleum gas (LPG) car and tuk-tuk refuelling station in Siem Reap city has left 13 people, including an American and a Briton, suffering burns. The seven most severely burned, including a provincial police officer, were sent to a Thai