Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has defended his ruling party’s decision to nominate his son and children of other party officials to run in upcoming national elections, rejecting suggestions he is laying the foundation for a dynasty.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen said that critics have misunderstood the nomination of family members of officials of Cambodian People’s Party to run for parliamentary seats as an attempt to cement a succession.
“When the CPP made its candidate lists, they were leaked to the media and some people mistook it as creating a dynasty,” Hun Sen said, adding that critics were only paying attention to a few of the nominations.
Opposition groups have said that Hun Sen, one of the longest-serving prime ministers in the world, is paving the way for one of his children to succeed him.
A senior CPP member confirmed last month that Hun Sen’s youngest son, 30-year-old Hun Many, will run for parliament in the July general election, along with his son-in-law, Dy Vichea, a senior police officer in the Interior Ministry.
There have been unconfirmed reports that Hun Sen’s eldest son Hun Manet, 35, the chief of the ministry of defense’s anti-terrorism unit as well as the deputy chief of Hun Sen’s personal bodyguard unit, and his third son, Hun Manith, 31, an army colonel and deputy head of a powerful military intelligence unit, will also run in the polls.