This week, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed what has long been suspected, that he is grooming his eldest son, Hun Manet, for leadership of the country. “As his father,” Hun Sen declared, “I have to support my son and train him so that he is capable”.
Not that Cambodia is likely to see a handover to a successor soon. Hun Sen also made clear he intends to continue in the top job for another ten years. Widely seen as a “strongman”, Hun Sen has been Cambodia’s prime minister since 1985.
Hun Manet, presently a three-star general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces*, has been the subject of speculation after speculation that he will be the next non-royal crown prince in Cambodia’s politics. In recent years, he has received a series of high-profile promotions. In 2018, he was promoted to the second-highest rank in Cambodia’s military. Later, he was voted into the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) permanent committee. This month, he was promoted from a deputy to head of the CPP’s central youth wing.