Cambodian strongman Hun Sen wins another ‘landslide’ election. Will succession to his son be just as smooth?

On December 24, 2021, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, 70, chaired a meeting of the Cambodian People’s Party, which has ruled the Southeast Asian country since 1979. The meeting saw his eldest son, Hun Manet, 45, unanimously selected to be the future prime minister.

After years of speculation over the identity of the strongman’s political successor, it was both an unsurprising and uninspiring choice.

A similar lack of surprise and inspiration encapsulates Cambodia’s general election this past Sunday. Even by the low standards of Southeast Asia, it was one of the worst sham votes in living memory. Up against a mix of 17 emasculated, feeble and grovelling opposition parties, Hun Sen’s party quickly boasted it had won in a “landslide”.

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