July 25, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Following the July 23 general election, Prime Minister Hun Sen, having secured 120 of the 125 parliamentary seats according to preliminary results, briefed international election monitoring delegations about the fresh generation of leaders set to take the helm. This new leadership group, he outlined, comprises individuals with substantial education, including in the realm of digital technology.
Hun Sen hinted via his official Telegram channel that the young bloods are ready to take over from their older predecessors.
“All of these preparations are for the sake of political and economic stability and security, and to avoid chaos, wars, which cause loss and implications for the economy and country development,” he explained.
“This is a clear-cut consideration of the prime minister and the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] to secure peace, stability, sustainability and development, which see no obstacle affecting people’s livelihood,” he added.
Sry Thamrong, Minister attached to the Prime Minister, reiterated this line-up plan during an unofficial dinner meeting between Hun Sen and the international delegation later that day. Also present was Guinea-Bissau Prime Minister Nuno Gomes Nabiam.
Despite not specifically mentioning the prospective prime ministerial candidate for the ruling CPP, Hun Manet, Thamrong shared that Nabiam had expressed readiness to collaborate with a future Cambodian government potentially led by Manet.
Kin Phea, director of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, stated that if a power transfer occurs post-election, it would be an unprecedented event in 500 years of Cambodian history.
He emphasised, however, that the CPP planned power transition isn’t suspicious as this was revealed as far back as late 2021. The transfer would follow the ruling party’s internal procedures.
Phea observed that the voters’ support, which resulted in a landslide victory, indicates public endorsement of the power transition.
“The unofficial election results show that the CPP won over 120 of the 125 parliamentary seats. With these results, the CPP faces no obstacles to internally transferring power,” he explained.
Phea concluded that this instance of power transition in Cambodia may serve as a lesson for other countries, particularly concerning the planning for future generations of leadership.
According to Thamrong, Hun Sen also thanked his Guinea-Bissau counterpart for participating in the election monitoring and expressed a desire to enhance cooperation with the African nation.
“[Hun Sen] expressed his aspiration for future agreements with Guinea-Bissau. He particularly mentioned potential areas like agricultural cooperation, investment and several other possible sectors,” Thamrong conveyed.
On the subject of election monitoring, Nabiam also met with Minister of Interior Sar Kheng. Also a deputy prime minister, Sar Kheng expressed gratitude for Nabiam’s presence, viewing it as an endorsement of Cambodia’s democratic elections and a sign of strengthening relations between the two countries.
Sar Kheng stated that both parties had mutually agreed to support security cooperation, especially the sharing of experiences on security, safety and social order. He underscored the general election situation, noting Cambodia’s maturity in its preparation and adherence to the electoral law.
Nabiam expressed his delight in visiting Cambodia and observing the election. He noted the similarities between the nature of Cambodian elections and those in his own country, and spoke of the new insights he gained on organising a peaceful election.
Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, underlined the importance of expanding relations and cooperation with other countries. He emphasised the mutual benefits these alliances could offer on the international stage, such as within the UN framework.