PHNOM PENH: Cambodia’s new parliament convened on Monday (Aug 21), setting the stage for long-time ruler Hun Sen to officially hand power to his eldest son after last month’s one-sided election.
Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) won all but five of 125 seats in the lower house in July polls that were widely decried as a sham after the main opposition party was barred from running.
Days after the landslide victory, Hun Sen – one of the world’s longest-serving leaders – announced he was stepping down and handing power to his eldest son, Hun Manet, after nearly four decades of rule.
Cambodian head of state King Norodom Sihamoni – who holds a largely symbolic role – opened parliament and congratulated the newly elected MPs including Hun Sen and Hun Manet, both wearing traditional attire.
He said the country had made great progress over the last 30 years, and urged MPs to make “further efforts to help people live with equality”.
The king also said he believed the new government will receive parliament’s mandate.
Parliament will reconvene on Tuesday to officially elect four-star general Hun Manet, 45, as the country’s new leader.
Earlier this month, Hun Sen unveiled the new Cambodian government headed by Hun Manet, and which also includes his youngest son Hun Many and his nephew in senior roles.