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Groups Continue Push for Term Limits on Prime Minister

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, center, enters a car after a meeting in Senate headquarters in Phnom Penh, file photo.

A group of NGOs, students and others say they plan to submit a request to the National Assembly this week to consider term limits for the position of prime minister.

Currently no such limit applies, leading to potential “dictatorship,” supporters of the initiative say.

Koul Panha, executive director of the election watchdog Comfrel, said he has asked former prime ministers Norodom Ranarridh, Ung Huot and Pen Sovann for their support in the initiative.

Pen Sovann, who was premier in the 1980s, told reporters Wednesday he welcomed the initiative and would deliver a petition to the National Assembly this week. The initiative calls for a term limit of 10 years, to avoid “nepotism and corruption,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has served in a number of leadership roles in the country, broken only occasionally, for nearly 30 years. Government spokesman Phay Siphan said he did not support the idea, because the prime minister is selected by the winning party in an open election.