Cambodian PM: I'll rule 10 more years; 'don't be jealous'

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2017, file photo, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to garment workers during a visit to a factory outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Hun Sen vowed to continue leading his impoverished Southeast Asian nation for another 10 years on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, days after the arrest of his leading opponent. Hun Sen said he has decided to run for another two terms. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)
FILE - In this June 4, 2017, file photo, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen shows off his inked finger after voting in local elections at Takhmau polling station in Kandal province, southeast of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Hun Sen vowed to continue leading his impoverished Southeast Asian nation for another 10 years on Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, days after the arrest of his leading opponent. Hun Sen said he has decided to run for another two terms. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith, File)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed to continue leading his impoverished Southeast Asian nation for another 10 years on Wednesday, days after the arrest of his leading opponent.

Speaking to some 10,000 garment factory workers in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the capital, Hun Sen said he has decided to run for another two terms. After that, he said, and would think about leaving office.

"Before I was very hesitant of when I shall leaving office, but after witnessing the treasonous acts of some Cambodians in recent days, I have decided to continue my job for another 10 years," the 65-year-old said.

In power for 32 years, Hun Sen is already the world's longest-serving prime minister and among its longest-serving leaders. In 2007, he said he wanted to retire at age 90, but backtracked on the claim in 2015.

"May I ask all the foreigners, please don't be jealous of me that I've become the world longest-serving prime minister," he said.

After the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party mounted a strong challenge in 2013, Hun Sen and his Cambodian People's Party have sought to stifle dissent and weaken challengers ahead of elections in July 2018.

His party has often been accused in the past of using violence or threats against opponents, but in recent years has stalked its foes mostly in the courts.

Legal threats forced opposition leader Sam Rainsy to resign this year; he now lives in exile.

Cambodian authorities on Sunday arrested his successor, Kem Sokha. On Tuesday, he was formally charged Tuesday with treason for allegedly conspiring with the United States to topple the government, and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The move sharply escalates political tensions and raises questions over whether upcoming elections can be free or fair. The opposition party says treason allegation is false and politically motivated.

Hun Sen urged the factory workers he spoke to Wednesday to vote for him next year, promising that he would give them better jobs and health care.

You may also interested in

EU suspends aid to Cambodian election commission

Dec 12, 2017

The European Union says it has suspended assistance to Cambodia's election commission following...

Cambodian genocide documented in victims'...

Mar 2, 2018

An American textile conservationist is training staff at Cambodia's genocide museum to preserve...

Cambodian leader rejects call for talks from...

Mar 5, 2018

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has rejected a request from an opposition leader for talks about...

Cambodia parties register as Hun Sen vows vote...

Apr 30, 2018

Registration has begun for political parties contesting Cambodia's upcoming general election, with...

New owner of Cambodian newspaper begins by firing...

May 7, 2018

The new owner of a newspaper considered the sole remaining independent media voice in Cambodia has...

Sign up now!

About Us

VNReporter is built to serve the people of Vietnam exclusive reports that best reflect the happenings and achievements in the country. With the rise in the popularity in online news, readers now demand to read quality news in a more modern and easy to read format.

Contact us: sales[at]vnreporter.com

Subscribe Now!