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Cambodian PM's son eyes parliamentary seat.

Summary: Phnom Penh: The youngest son of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen plans to run for ...

Phnom Penh: The youngest son of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen plans to run for parliament, his party said Wednesday, fuelling speculation that the strongman's children are being groomed to succeed him. Hun Many -- whose eldest brother is a two-star general -- will join several sons of senior officials from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) standing in a general election in July, said CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap. "These are the bamboo shoots to replace the bamboo trees," he told AFP, adding that many CPP lawmakers were too old. Hun Many, 30, who is currently an official in his father's cabinet, has been actively running the CPP-linked Voluntary Youth Movement recently. He was approved by the party last week to run as a candidate in the southern province of Kampong Speu, said Cheam Yeap, who is a member of the CPP's permanent committee. Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said the move was aimed at creating a political dynasty and one of the sons could succeed Hun Sen in the future. "For years, he has prepared his children to join in politics," he said. Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith played down the speculation, saying the CPP was in "a state of rejuvenating its ranks after years of preparation". Hun Sen's eldest son Hun Manet, 35, is the chief of the ministry of defence's anti-terrorism unit as well as deputy commander of Hun Sen's personal bodyguard unit. He was promoted to a two-star general in 2011, and critics have said his rapid career progress could be seen as an attempt by Hun Sen to consolidate his political power. The premier's third son Hun Manith, 31, is an army colonel and deputy head of a powerful military intelligence unit. Hun Sen's son-in-law will also run for a seat in the parliament, Cheam Yeap said. Hun Sen, 61, has ruled the country since 1985 and has vowed to stay in power until he is 90. His government is regularly accused of suppressing political freedoms and mistreating rights campaigners. His CPP is widely expected to win the election.

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Feb 20, 2013
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