Cambodia stood between past and future in 2022 — balancing completion, new beginnings and legacy creation. As Cambodia’s first electoral term with a one-party National Assembly under the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) drew to a close (2018–2023), the party prepared for an upcoming generational transition.
In December 2021, Hun Manet was endorsed by his father, Prime Minister Hun Sen, and his party as the country’s future prime minister. A photo of what was allegedly 2023’s young incoming cabinet was circulated. The CPP’s key concern in 2022 was to ensure a transition void of surprises. The scions of the old guard slated to become ministers gained public prominence and power constellations settled around them. Manet raised his profile, including as the head of Central Youth CPP, which gained visibility as its members eagerly displayed their allegiance to the successor-in-waiting.
Manet and his wife Pech Chanmony also implanted the idea of themselves as the country’s future first couple through their leadership of the organisation Samdech Techo Voluntary Youth Doctor Association (TYDA), which having combated the COVID-19 pandemic celebrated its 10-year anniversary.