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Hun Sen Warns of Danger in Leadership Change

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

As campaigning for commune elections kicks off, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned Tuesday that Cambodia would face unnamed dangers if there were any change of leader.

Speaking at a Buddhist ceremony three days after the official start of campaigning for June’s local elections, Hun Sen said Cambodia’s “traditions and customs were destroyed” by a change in regime once already, a reference to the Khmer Rouge.

He lauded the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and its role in protecting Cambodia’s traditional monarchy and disparaged other parties who use royalty to find voter support.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said Hun Sen was using the public speech to threaten voters. “A singular leader will lead the country to dictatorship,” he said.