Required viewing: Cambodian PM speaks for 5 hours

AP News
Posted: Aug 09, 2012 11:23 AM
Required viewing: Cambodian PM speaks for 5 hours

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — He's no Castro or Chavez, but Asia's longest serving ruler has set what appears to be a personal record for longest public speech: 5 hours and 20 minutes.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen spoke to the lower house of parliament in a nationally televised speech Thursday that was mandatory viewing for civil servants.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said he believed it was Hun Sen's longest speech in 27 years as prime minister.

Hun Sen, 61, spoke without taking breaks — or questions — mostly on sensitive border disputes with Vietnam. He blamed France, the former colonial ruler of both countries, for not clearly demarcating the border.

Politicians often use the border issue to stir nationalism and garner support, and Hun Sen is seeking re-election in 2013.

His speech was far from the lengthiest among world leaders. Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro frequently made five-hour speeches outdoors in the hot Caribbean sun in his heyday.

And Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez spoke for nine hours in his state-of-the-nation speech in January.