Cambodia king appoints Hun Manet as new PM

2023-08-08 08:18:03China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Country's basic line of state policies expected to be consistent, analysts say

Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni appointed Hun Manet as the country's next prime minister on Monday, with analysts saying the country's basic line of state policies is expected to be consistent.

The royal decree designating Hun Manet as prime minister for a five-year term followed a request from Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Hun Manet expressed his gratitude for the royal appointment in a letter to the king, according to Xinhua News Agency.

"This is the greatest honor in my life, receiving a great opportunity to serve my most-loved motherland and people in this noble position," Hun Manet said in the letter.

He pledged to fulfill the "noble national mission with heroism, honesty, and high responsibility to serve the motherland and the people of Cambodia".

Hun Manet, 45, is the eldest son of outgoing prime minister Hun Sen. He is also the deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, commander of the Royal Cambodian Army, and a member of the standing committee of the ruling Cambodian People's Party, or CPP.

His appointment as prime minister came after the CPP gained a landslide victory in the July 23 general election, winning 120 out of the 125 seats in the National Assembly, according to the official results announced by the National Election Committee on Aug 5.

Vote of confidence

Hun Manet will need to win a vote of confidence in the National Assembly on Aug 22. After that, he could be sworn in on the same day.

Hun Sen said on social media he will officially step down as prime minister on Aug 22.

"Now I will continue as prime minister for another 15 days, then I will be promoted to the position of father of the prime minister," he said.

Hun Sen, who celebrated his 71st birthday on Saturday, became prime minister in 1985, making him one of the world's longest-serving leaders.

Hun Sen said in July he will remain CPP's president after stepping down as prime minister and will assume the position of Senate president after the Senate election on Feb 25 next year.

"Today is a day to celebrate," said Cambodia Development Resource Institute Chairman Mey Kalyan.

Noting that the transition from one government to another was done in a peaceful and orderly way, Mey said, as a developing country, Cambodia needs stability, peace, development, and continuity.

Mey, who is also a senior adviser to Cambodia's Supreme National Economic Council, told China Daily he expects the basic line of Hun Manet's policy to be consistent with his father's as the country needs to improve its economic competitiveness and further integrate with the world.

With his skills and experience, Hun Manet will focus on diversifying Cambodia's export market, said Thong Mengdavid, a research fellow at the Phnom Penh-based Asian Vision Institute.

"He would advocate more on the notion of peace building and sustainable development and (work) with other world leaders to promote economic development," Mengdavid told China Daily.

"So, when the international system is stable and peaceful, Cambodia can tap into the system through global engagement and could gain more economic benefits."

Mengdavid said he expects the Cambodia-China relationship to be further enhanced under the new leadership as the two countries are upgrading the bilateral relations to "Hexagon-Diamond" relations.

The increased cooperation will benefit the two peoples and will require more cooperation at all levels to build a strong, prosperous, stable, and healthy community with a shared future, Mengdavid added.

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