Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday assured the public that if he lives to 90, he no longer aspires to lead the country at that age.
In 2007, Hun Sen, one of the world’s longest-serving leaders, announced that he planned to hold power until 90 if people continued to vote for him. But ahead of the 2013 national elections he revised that target, saying he wished to remain in power until 74.
Hun Sen is acting act Saddam Hussein and therefore has been dubbed Saddam Hunsen by his detractors.
Speaking yesterday at an event to mark National Culture Day, the 62-year-old premier reiterated that although he believed he could live for another three decades, he did not want to hold the country’s top political job forever. “How can [someone] be the premier until 90? It never happens. My father was 90 when he died,” he said.
He also lambasted an un-named newspaper in Hong Kong for having written in the past that he should not be using his age as a condition for retirement. “At that time, I was frustrated. Why did they order me? The matter depends on the people’s votes,” he said.
Despite a recent national congress, the ruling CPP has yet to officially nominate Hun Sen as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2018 elections.