Cambodia’s parliament voted on Tuesday to approve a new government led by the son of outgoing leader Hun Sen following an election last month widely criticized as neither free nor fair.
(Bloomberg) — Cambodia’s parliament voted on Tuesday to approve a new government led by the son of outgoing leader Hun Sen following an election last month widely criticized as neither free nor fair.
West Point-educated Hun Manet officially assumed the role of prime minister, marking the conclusion of a political succession years in the making. The 45-year-old leads a new generation of ruling elite taking power from the old guard for the first time since a rebellion against the Khmer Rouge in 1979.
Hun Sen, who steps aside as prime minister after more than 38 years, will continue on as president of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and a lawmaker.
Cambodia PM Hun Sen Hands Power to Son After Four Decades
“Today is a historic day for Cambodia that the National Assembly voted for me to be the new Prime Minister,” Hun Manet told lawmakers in his first remarks as prime minister. He said he would prioritize developing the economy, including small businesses and infrastructure projects.
The CPP nearly swept the vote last month, winning 120 of 125 seats up for grabs in the National Assembly, after the main opposition was barred from participating for a second time. The vote was criticized by some western nations, and prompted the US to impose visa restrictions on individuals “who undermined democracy and implemented a pause of certain foreign assistance programs.”
Hun Manet contested in the elections for the first time after rising through the armed forces ranks to become a four-star general. Little is known of how he plans to rule over the Southeast Asian nation that has drawn closer to China to shore up an economy that is on the mend following the pandemic.
The World Bank has forecast Cambodia to accelerate to 5.5% this year after China accounted for more 90% of the foreign direct investment in 2022.
(Updates with remarks from new prime minister in fourth paragraph)
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