Hun Manet Appointed as New Prime Minister

Hun Manet, center, of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), son of Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, also army chief, walks outside a polling station together with his wife, Pich Chanmony, front left, before voting at a polling station in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, July 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH – Hun Sen's eldest son Hun Manet was appointed by royal decree as Cambodia's new prime minister for the 7th mandate of the National Assembly.

King Norodom Sihamoni's one-page decree said on Aug. 7 that the decision “comes into force on the day it is signed” and requests Hun Manet to form a new government which will later be approved by the Parliament’s lower chamber.

Once approved by the National Assembly, the new cabinet led by Hun Manet will take up his duties on Aug. 22.

After more than 38 years in power, Hun Sen announced on July 26 that he would step down from his position, making room for his eldest son to be nominated prime minister in August.

Three days earlier, Hun Manet had been elected as a Member of Parliament for Phnom Penh, which opened the gate for this long-plannednomination.

The appointment of Hun Manet comes two days after the National Election Committee (NEC) released the final results of the national elections, which were held on July 23.

The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) received 6,398,311 votes, which grant it 120 of the 125 seats of the National Assembly. The FUNCINPEC came second, with 716,490 votes, and claim the remaining five seats. 

Among the 7,774,276 votes cast, 440,154 were declared invalid. 

The July 23 election was strongly criticized by Western countries as neither free nor fair and disconcerted U.N. experts after the Candlelight Party, the main opposition political force, was barred from running for the election.

Following the NEC’s report, the CPP issued a statement to the effect that the party was accepting the official results of the elections indicating that the CPP had obtained 82.3 percent of the votes. 

The FUNCINPEC party led by Prince Norodom Chakravuth also issued a statement on Aug. 5, accepting the official results of the elections and expressing gratitude to the voters who supported the party.

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