In Cambodia, the son rises but the father endures

Hun Sen, in power for decades, cruising to another term in Sunday vote.

The result is hardly in doubt, but significant changes could be on the horizon as Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, one of the world’s longest-serving leaders, cruises to an expected reelection in national voting Sunday.


Hun Sen, who has effectively been in charge in Phnom Penh since the final days of President Reagan’s first term, is widely expected to use his next term to groom a new leader for Cambodia — his eldest son — while deepening economic and security ties with China, to the frustration of the U.S.

In the competition for influence between Beijing and Washington playing out across Southeast Asia, Hun Sen’s unassailable position has been a barrier for multiple U.S. administrations, analysts say.

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