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PM Explains Reasons for Resignation

KANDAL: Interim Prime Minister Hun Sen laid out four reasons for his decision to resign as prime minister later this month, which he characterizes as a personal sacrifice for the country’s stability and development. He said that now is the right time to transfer power to the younger generation.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of a Phnom Penh bypass on August 3, the PM stated that his resignation is for the stability, security and continued development of the country. He noted that if something unforseen happened during his rule and a new prime minister needed to be elected, it would destabilize the country, leaving a power vacuum open for competition. His said his inspiration came from former King Norodom Sihanouk, who relinquished the throne to his son in 2004.

The PM emphasized that now is a good time to let his son take over. Dr. Hun Manet is 46 years old falls in line with the government plan to install new leaders under 50 into office. Under that plan, the PM has instructed his current cabinet to be ready to resign their positions so that they can take seats on the National Assembly.

"Let all of us in the cabinet give up (quit)," he said. “In fact, the one who made the biggest sacrifice was me, with the power of the Prime Minister. [...] I am willing to give up this power for the long-term peace of the Cambodian people, which includes us. ”

He added that while he will no longer be prime minister, he will still play a role in the National Assembly while also taking over as President of the Senate in February 2024. He said that while he will still remain influential in Cambodian politics, he will not interfere in the affairs of the next prime minister.

His final reason for choosing now to give up his position is to capitalize on the momentum of the CPP victories in the previous two elections. He explained that this year’s results showed even more support for the party and confirmed the public’s approval of future PM Hun Manet.

"If the votes were lower than in 2018, I would not leave yet," he said. “I would continue to improve the situation at least halfway through or until the end of the seventh mandate [in 2028]. But because of the [high number of] votes, the future has already been determined. If the nation was not happy with the future prime minister, there would definitely have been less votes."

If things go to plan, Prime Minister Hun Sen will send a letter on August 7 to request the King’s appointment of Dr. Hun Manet as the new Prime Minister of Cambodia. The new prime minister will then form a cabinet which must be approved by parliament on August 21. The new prime minister will then be officially instated on August 22.

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