Hun Sen Named CPP’s Candidate for 2008

Prime Minister Hun Sen was chosen as the CPP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2008 national election and 121 new members were added to the party’s Central Committee, according to a statement released Wednesday on the final day of the CPP’s congress.

The CPP Central Committee was increased “in order to enhance the leadership capacity of the party in the new environment,” according to the statement.

With the additional 121 new members, the Central Committee goes from 153 to 268 members as six members have passed away, the statement read.

Pailin Governor Y Chhean, a former bodyguard of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, who defected to the CPP in 1996, said he was among the 121 new members of the committee. Also among the new elite were Kun Kim, adviser to Hun Sen and RCAF deputy commander in chief, and Kam Gunnawat, director-gen­eral of state-run broadcaster TVK.

Chan Ven, National Assembly deputy secretary-general, said Hun Sen was chosen as the party’s candidate without dispute.

“The congress supported Hun Sen unanimously because he im­plemented successfully the [government’s] policy with great achievements,” he said.

Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay said CPP officials had little choice but to choose Hun Sen.

“Even though Hun Sen is the [CPP] deputy president, in fact he is the real president,” Son Chhay said. “He controls the party.”

(Additional reporting by Lasse Karner)



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