How Hun Manet will differ from his father

PM-in-waiting Hun Manet will seek legitimacy through competence rather than mythology in a wider generational succession inside the ruling CPP.

At a mass rally on July 1, 2023, with campaigning underway for Cambodia’s upcoming general election, Prime Minister Hun Sen symbolically handed over the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) flag to his eldest son – Hun Manet – who is expected to soon succeed him as premier.

While Norodom Sihanouk is remembered as Cambodia’s “King Father”, Hun Sen will presumably want to go down as something akin to the “Prime Minister Father.”

As Hun Sen’s myth-making goes, he was the person who finally brought peace and stability to Cambodia, ending the country’s three-decade civil war in the 1990s. And he brought a measure of prosperity to Cambodia – a famine state when he took over.

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