Hun Sen's sons get more stars on their shoulder boards

Two sons of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen have been promoted in military rank along with other military officials ahead of Cambodia's general election on Sunday, Kyodo News learned Wednesday.

According to a royal decree signed by King Norodom Sihamoni on June 19, Hun Manet, 35, was promoted from major general to lieutenant general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. In a separate royal decree signed June 12, Hun Manith, 31, was promoted from colonel to brigadier general.

Hun Manet, Hun Sen's eldest son, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 1999 and later earned a doctorate in economics from Bristol University in Britain. He is seen by some Cambodians as a possible successor to his father.

He holds various military-related positions, including deputy commander of the Headquarters of Infantry, deputy head of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Joint Staff, head of National Defense's Counterterrorism Department and deputy commander of the Prime Minister's Bodyguard Unit.

Hun Manith is deputy head of the Military Intelligence Unit and deputy secretary general of the National Authority for Land Dispute Resolution.

Hun Sen is married and has three sons and two daughters.

His youngest son, Hun Many, 30, is head of the ruling Cambodian People's Party's Youth Movement and is running in Sunday's general election.

Chhum Socheat, spokesman of the National Defense Ministry, was not available to comment on the promotions Wednesday, but military sources said Hun Sen's sons were among 90 personnel of colonel or general rank that have recently been promoted.