new Prime Minister Hun Manet presents his reform plan

by time news

2023-08-24 09:40:00

Cambodia’s new leader, Hun Manet, on Thursday presented his roadmap to develop and reform the kingdom’s economy, days after taking over from his father as head of the small Southeast Asian country.

On Tuesday, parliament validated the candidacy of Hun Sen’s eldest son as the new prime minister, thus sealing a dynastic transfer of power after last month’s legislative elections.

Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which ruled the country for four decades, won 120 of 125 MP seats in July’s elections, widely seen as a sham of democracy after the main party in opposition was prevented from appearing.

During his first cabinet meeting on Thursday, Hun Manet promised sweeping economic reforms aimed at making Cambodia a “high-income country” by 2050.

“The next 25 years will be a new cycle for Cambodia,” he said in a televised address.

Its reform plan aims to improve health care and education and to fight climate change.

The document sets a goal of “crisis-resistant economic growth of about 7% per year on average” and the reduction of the poverty rate, one of the highest in Asia.

The new leader promised to leave “no Cambodian citizen behind” and made food security a priority.

Holder of a doctorate in economics from the University of Bristol in Great Britain, he was the first Cambodian to graduate from the American military academy at West Point, from which he graduated in 1999.

But his solid international background does not necessarily guarantee a liberal approach or a change from the authoritarian ways of his father.

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The new government included a number of his family members and several children of Hun Sen’s allies in prominent positions.

Hun Many, the younger brother of Hun Manet, becomes Minister of Public Service, while the sons of the Ministers of Interior and Defense will take over their fathers’ posts and his nephew, Neth Savoeun, will be Deputy Prime Minister.

24/08/2023 09:39:02 – Phnom Penh (AFP) – © 2023 AFP

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