Cambodia’s King officially appointed Hun Manet as the country’s new leader. This comes after his father’s nearly four-decade-long rule and an overwhelming victory in the recent July election.
Following the landslide win, Hun Sen, one of the world’s most enduring rulers, declared his decision to relinquish the prime ministerial position and pass the reins of power to his eldest son. Thus, the transition of power takes place from the father to the eldest son after a rule of 38 years.
King Norodom Sihamoni issued a decree on Monday, officially endorsing the 45-year-old Hun Manet as Cambodia’s new leader. The decree was made public on Hun Sen’s Telegram channel and signifies the approaching conclusion of the current leader’s nearly four-decade-long tenure at the forefront of a nation recovering from prolonged periods of conflict and economic hardship. Hun Sen mentions “Thank you, my dear wife, for raising this unfortunate child during the hardest times so he can become the nation’s top leader today.”
The appointment of Hun Manet as Cambodia’s new leader is contingent upon the approval of the recently elected National Assembly, which is anticipated later this month.
Hun Manet, the current army chief of Cambodia, expressed his gratitude to the king for placing his trust in him. He conveyed through a Telegram post that serving the nation and its people would be the highest honour of his life. He also pledged his unwavering commitment to fulfilling his duties, vowing to elevate the living standards of Cambodians and enhance the nation’s reputation.
Following last month’s election, Cambodia’s electoral body declared the final results, with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) securing around 120 out of 125 parliamentary seats. The contest saw all viable opposition sidelined during the process.
Following the proclamation of the royal decree, Hun Sen made an announcement on both Telegram and the X social media platforms, stating that he would step down to offer an opportunity for the successors to assume leadership roles. Hun Sen, who recently celebrated his 71st birthday, reminisced about how he became the world’s youngest prime minister at the age of 32. He emphasized that stepping down as prime minister does not signify the end of his political journey, as he intends to take up other positions at least until 2033, thus completing a remarkable half-century in office.
The New PM of Cambodia Hun Manet, holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a master’s degree in the same field from New York University, and a doctorate from Bristol University in the United Kingdom, he boasts an impressive academic background.
The legislature is expected to meet on Aug. 22 to vote to approve Hun Manet