Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Praise of Donald Trump not an endorsement, says PM

Praise of Donald Trump not an endorsement, says PM

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a graduation ceremony yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island, where he said his praise of Donald Trump was not an endorsement. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a graduation ceremony yesterday on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island, where he said his praise of Donald Trump was not an endorsement. Facebook

Praise of Donald Trump not an endorsement, says PM

In a clarification unlikely to affect today’s United States presidential election, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said his recent praise for Republican candidate Donald Trump was not an endorsement.

Hun Sen on Thursday said he wanted Trump to win the ballot over rival Hillary Clinton because he believed the real estate developer and reality TV star’s potential to improve US-Russian relations would be good for world peace.

But speaking to students at a graduation ceremony on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island yesterday, the premier said his comments were merely an analysis of the election’s possible outcomes.

“I just commented and explained to our internal [officials] about the possibilities of any candidate winning the election and about trends of the international political situation,” the premier said, adding as a world leader he had the same right to comment on politics as everybody else.

“I said I wanted Trump to win the election because if the Democratic Party wins, it means Hillary wins, and [although] relations between US and China would continue well, because they have a trade partnership; for Russia and the US, the relations would not be good, because the economic sanctions from US on Russia have not finished yet but still continue.”

The prime minister, who on Thursday referred to the Democratic nominee as “Clinton’s wife” – a reference to her spouse, former US President Bill Clinton – also denied degrading the former secretary of state, who he yesterday referred to by her first name.

He also took issue with observers who said he, like other strongman world leaders who have endorsed Trump – including Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin – had backed the Republican because of his authoritarian tendencies.

“If you don’t understand the politics, don’t play with politics,” he added.

Speaking yesterday, Cambodian political analyst Ou Virak said that the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s foreign policy could lead to instability in Southeast Asia should he win today’s polls, while Clinton would likely continue current US President Barack Obama’s policy of engagement with the region.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong