King Norodom Sihamoni has bestowed high-ranking titles on Prime Minister Hun Sen and two other CPP leaders through three separate royal decrees dated Oct 12, which were announced Friday on state-owned television station TVK.
One decree stated that Hun Sen, who has held the title of Samdech for some years, will now be referred to as “Samdech Akkar Maha Senapadei Dekchor.”
“Hun Sen is a great leader who has achieved peace, unity and prosperity…and high respect among people,” stated the royal decree as read on TVK.
CPP National Assembly President Heng Samrin was elevated to “Samdech Akkak Maha Ponhea Chakrei,” and CPP Senate President Chea Sim has risen to “Akkak Maha Thommak Pothisal,” according to the two other royal decrees read on the air.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap welcomed the announcements, which are, he said, “encouragement for what they have greatly accomplished for the nation. Our leaders liberated the nation and people from the Khmer Rouge and led the country from empty hands.”
Chea Vannath, former director of the Center for Social Development, said it was appropriate for the three CPP leaders to receive titles from King Sihamoni.
“It is normal in a monarchy that the King bestows on his loyalists [titles] for respecting and safeguarding the monarchy,” she said.
Other people, either living or deceased, should also be recognized with titles for their contribution to society,” Chea Vannath added.
(Additional reporting by Chhay Channyda)