Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen Announces Resignation, Paving the Way for Dynastic Succession
One of the world’s longest-serving leaders, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, announced his resignation on Wednesday, ending his nearly four-decade-long hardline rule.
The former Khmer Rouge cadre has held power since 1985, consolidating his authority by eliminating opposition parties, forcing challengers into exile, and curbing freedom of expression.
In a recent election, his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) secured a landslide victory with 82 percent of the vote, amidst the absence of meaningful opposition.
The only serious challenger, the Candlelight Party, was disqualified on a technicality ahead of the election.
During a special broadcast on state television, the 70-year-old Prime Minister expressed his intention to step down and hand power to his eldest son, Hun Manet, a 45-year-old four-star general.
The dynastic succession raised comparisons to North Korea’s leadership transfer.
The government highlighted the high voter turnout of 84.6 percent as a sign of the country’s “democratic maturity.”
However, the United States and the European Union, among other Western powers, criticized the election, deeming it neither free nor fair.
Hun Sen’s resignation marks a significant turning point in Cambodian politics, potentially ushering in a new era with a generational shift in leadership.
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