Hun Manet, the eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, will not run for a seat in the National Assembly during July’s general election, government spokesman and Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said Wednesday.
In a speech in November, Hun Sen implied that his son, who attended the US Military Academy at West Point and is currently doing postgraduate work in Britain, might run for Parliament.
However, Khieu Kanharith said that Hun Sen never made any formal announcement, adding that he was simply denying a rumor about Hun Manet entering politics.
“He has to work first to build experience,” Khieu Kanharith said of the prime minister’s son.
“He has little experience, so he must learn by going on the campaign” trail, he said, adding that the CPP has plenty of qualified people to run as candidates.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap confirmed that Hun Manet was not on the party’s candidate list.
SRP Secretary-General Eng Chhay Eang said Wednesday that Hun Manet should be in politics, as he was educated in the West.
“I believe that he is a new-generation person,” Eng Chhay Eang said. “He is better educated than the old people who have little education,” he said. “He is better than the old people who are influenced by the dictatorship.”
Political commentator Chea Vannath said that being young should not disqualify Hun Manet from running for office, adding she suspected there was another reason at work.
The public admires Hun Manet as a “polite” figure, she said, adding that because of his advanced education, he could be a force to further implement democracy and human rights in Cambodia.
“No one has spoken ill of him,” she said.