CPP Says Hun Sen Remains in Role as Prime Minister

Amid swirling rumors that Prime Minister Hun Sen had left the country after his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) suffered a large loss of National Assembly seats in Sunday’s election, the CPP released a statement Tuesday insisting he was still in Cambodia and on the job.

“Recently there have been rumors that Samdech Hun Sen, vice president of the Cambodian People’s Party and the prime minister for the fourth mandate, had left the country and gone abroad and resigned from his post as prime minister,” the brief statement said. 

“This is psychological warfare that ill-intentioned people always fabricate in order to intoxicate the social atmosphere. The Cambodian People’s Party would like to clarify that Mr. Hun Sen is currently in the country and carrying out his duty as prime minister of Cambodia as usual.”

Mr. Hun Sen has not been seen in public or made any public statements since the poll, in which the CPP held on to a majority in parliament but lost 22 of its 90 seats in the 123-seat Assembly.

The National Election Committee has yet to release its own results. The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which won 55 seats according to the CPP, has rejected the numbers and is demanding an independent investigation into reports of widespread voting irregularities it says may have robbed it of a win.

In its statement, though, the CPP thanked voters for giving it a fifth five-year term.

“The Cambodian People’s Party would like to express its profound thanks to the people, who always support and vote for the Cambodian People’s Party, which obtained a dominant number of seats and enables the Cambodian People’s Party to set up a new government in compliance with the constitutional law. Prime Minister Hun Sen will remain in the position of prime minister for the fifth mandate.”

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