Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday said that he was not considering succession plans or a potential transfer of power to one of his sons because he was going to head the government for another ten years.
The premier was speaking at an event with journalists in Phnom Penh and said he needed to hold the post of prime minister for at least another ten years, even if his eldest son Hun Manet was qualified to take over.
The Prime Minister on Tuesday marked 35 years as the head of the government, extending his lead as one of the longest-serving prime ministers in the world. In 2018, Hun Sen had said that Hun Manet could succeed him to head the government.
“I need 10 more years to hold the post as Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Even though Hun Manet has the adequate qualification, he needs to wait till 2028 or after 2029 or until 2030 to be involved with the prime minister position,” he said.
Political analysts and observers have long speculated over when and how Hun Sen will hand over power, and if it would be to his eldest son Hun Manet. These speculations were compounded after Hun Manet’s ascent to Commander of the Cambodian Army and the Cambodian People’s Party winning all the parliamentary seats in the 2018 national ballot.
Hun Sen claimed that there was no power transferring system in Cambodia and only elections could make Hun Manet prime minister.
“His father is still working [as prime minister], how does he have the ability to grab power from his father?”
However, in parliamentary democracies, any elected member of parliament in the majority can be selected to become prime minister by lawmakers forming the government.
The prime minister was speaking at an annual event he holds with journalists from across the country, this being the fourth year he has organized the meeting.