Cambodia: What Lies Behind the Sudden Resignation of Prime Minister Hun Sen?

The fact that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, now 71 according to the latest official change to his date of birth, has been seeking to hand over power to his eldest son Hun Manet and so create a political dynasty, has been clear for some time.

Hun Sen, who has held power for 38 years, had previously suggested that the succession could take place “in a few years”, maybe in 2028 at the end of the legislative term. He had also said he planned to remain in power until he was 90.

So the sudden announcement on 26 July of his resignation, which takes effect on 10 August, surprised a number of observers. To be sure, Hun Sen in recent months had become increasingly vague about his departure date. What is the explanation for the sudden rush?

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