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Two Close Relatives of Hun Sen To Run in July Election

Ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (front 2nd R), former Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat (front R) and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (front C) pose with Hun Sen's extended family during their meeting at the latter's house in Phnom Penh November 10, 2009. Hun Sen's family includes (back R-L) Hun Sen's daughter-in-law Chay Lin, Hun Sen's son-in-law Dy Vichea and his wife Hun Mana, Hun Sen's son Hun Manet and his wife (unidentified), Hun Sen's son-in-law Sok Puthivuth and his wife Hun Maly and Hun Sen's son Hun Manith and his wife (unidentified).
Cambodia’s ruling party has named a son and a son-in-law of Prime Minister Hun Sen as candidates for National Assembly seats to compete in the upcoming July elections, officials said Friday.

One of Hun Sen’s sons, Hun Many, will run for a seat to represent Kampong Speu province, while Dy Vichea, who is married to the premier’s daughter, will run for Svay Rieng province.

Neither was selected at the “prime minister’s orders,” but they were chosen by local commune committees, said Cheam Yiep, a lawmaker for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

The appointments add to the growing number of relatives of senior officials who occupy seats in government.

This makes the ruling party “not so strong,” but, to be fair, individuals should be evaluated on how they perform, said Lao Mong Hay, an independent analyst.

Kem Sokha, head of the Human Rights Party, said the ruling party is seeking to bring “new elements” into the party to cover for past mistakes of older party members. However, he said, “they need to reform the prime minister spot if they want to turn this into a good situation.”