Prime Minister Hun Sen is drawing up a list of political analysts who mistakenly grouped him and Donald Trump with dictators like Robert Mugabe and Vladimir Putin, he said on Monday.
“Now I have to send Donald Trump what they all said, whether he wins or loses,” Mr. Hun Sen said of the notoriously litigious businessman.
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks during the inauguration of the Sunrise Japan Hospital in Phnom Penh in September. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)The prime minister said on Thursday that he wanted the U.S. Republican presidential candidate to win today’s U.S. election because Mr. Trump “would not want to have war.”
A flurry of media attention quickly lumped Mr. Hun Sen’s endorsement with several ruling autocrats, including Mr. Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Mr. Putin of Russia and Kim Jong Un of North Korea.
But speaking to 3,800 graduating university students in Phnom Penh on Monday, Mr. Hun Sen said that he had merely offered his analysis, not an endorsement, and that pundits had been too quick to group him and Mr. Trump with autocrats.
“It’s my right to analyze, so why did they say Donald Trump was a dictator and has been endorsed by many dictators including Hun Sen, Putin and Mugabe?” he asked, adding that he “didn’t criticize Hillary Clinton,” the Democratic candidate.
Mr. Hun Sen, who has been in power for more than 30 years, said he had made his assessment because he believed that if Ms. Clinton were elected, “the sanctions with Russia would never end.”
The prime minister said he was in the process of compiling articles that had defamed him and Mr. Trump.
“The American people who support Trump should know that there are some people who accuse him of being a dictator because Putin, Mugabe and Hun Sen support him,” he said.
The U.S. election is the business of American citizens and not Cambodians, Mr. Hun Sen said, but it was his duty to follow the latest geopolitical developments.
“If you are not clear or are ignorant about politics, then don’t play politics,” he warned.
naren@cambodiadaily.com
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