Former king Norodom Sihanouk welcomed the appointment of
Prime Minister Hun Sen to lead the next administration, calling him “deserving
the prestige” in a letter posted his official Web site.
Hun Sen was appointed premier following a ceremony Sept. 24
boycotted by three Human Rights Party lawmakers, who claim the results of
July’s national election were fraudulent.
Norodom Sihanouk applauded Hun Sen as a “supreme statesman,”
saying the premier “is the better guide, smart, most talented and of the
highest nationalism, who has achieved great victories in all fields in building
achievements across the country.”
Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center
for Human Rights, said the letter of praise was a shift in tone from the former
monarch, who had criticized Hun Sen in the past.
Both royal parties, Funcinpec and the Norodom Ranariddh
Party, slipped in recent elections, including widespread losses for Funcinpec in
the 2006 commune elections and a modest showing—two lawmakers each—in July’s