'Victory day': Hun Sen's son leads final rally ahead of election

By AFP   July 20, 2023 | 09:11 pm PT
'Victory day': Hun Sen's son leads final rally ahead of election
A crowd of tens of thousands on motorbikes gathered to hear Hun Manet's speech, before he roared off in a motorcade parade around Phnom Penh. Photo by AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy
Cambodian leader Hun Sen's eldest son and chosen successor hailed "victory day" in a final rally Friday, ahead of elections that his father's ruling party is guaranteed to win.

A crowd of tens of thousands on motorbikes, dressed in bright blue, gathered under grey skies in the early morning to hear Hun Manet's brief speech.

"Today is a victory day for us," Hun Manet said under a giant poster of his father, urging supporters to vote for the ruling party.

"Only the CPP has the ability to lead Cambodia."

"We will promote the national pride of our nation to the heights of the Angkor era," he said as rain began falling on the crowd.

He, educated in the United States and Britain, has been more of a presence as his father begins to pull back.

At Friday's rally, supporters with stickers on their cheeks expressed hope for Hun Manet's leadership.

"I believe that he will not mistreat our people, and he will find whatever may be prosperous for Cambodia," Chin Chhivleap, 34, told AFP.

"For me, Hun Manet is the best candidate for the PM because I don't see anybody else better than him."

Speaking under the shadow of construction cranes as a pony ridden by a supporter clopped by, supporters said his education abroad would improve Cambodia.

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