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Hun Sen Vows To Remain Premier for Years to Come

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke to the lower house of parliament in a nationally televised speech, file photo.
PHNOM PENH - Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday said he plans on being Cambodia’s leader for at least another decade to come.

In a speech in Kampong Speu province, Hun Sen, now 61, said he would be “in charge” until the age of 74.

The remarks were an apparent continuation of political rhetoric that has increased as July’s national elections approach. Hun Sen also recently warned that the country would devolve into war if the opposition were to win at the July 28 polls.

But observers say Monday’s remarks do not ring true for a democratic society.

Even communist leaders in China and neighboring Vietnam change every 10 years, Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, told VOA Khmer.

Lao Mong Hay, an independent political analyst, said the figure 74 was actually a step back from past remarks, in which Hun Sen said he would rule until he was 90 years old.

“So the years have been reduced,” he said. “So that’s somehow good.”