Prime Minister of Cambodia

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Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
Royal arms of Cambodia.svg
Hun Sen (2016) cropped.jpg
Hun Sen

since 14 January 1985
Office of the Prime Minister
Royal Government of Cambodia
Style His Excellency
Status Head of government
Member of Council of Ministers
Council of the Throne
Reports to National Assembly
Residence The Peace Palace
Seat Phnom Penh
Nominator Political parties
Appointer King of Cambodia
Term length Five years, renewable
Constituting instrument Constitution of Cambodia
Inaugural holder Norodom Sihanouk
Formation18 March 1945;74 years ago (1945-03-18)
Deputy Deputy Prime Minister
Salary KHR3,675,000 [1] , including KHR10,600,000 MP's salary [2]
Website Prime Minister of Cambodia
Royal arms of Cambodia.svg
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politics and government of
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The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia (Khmer : នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីនៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា, French : Premier ministre du Royaume du Cambodge) is the head of government of Cambodia. The prime minister is also the chairman of the Cabinet and leads the executive branch of the Royal Cambodian Government. The prime minister is required to be a member of parliament, and is appointed by the monarch for a term of five years. Since 1945, 36 individuals have served as prime minister. [3]

Khmer or Cambodian is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language. Khmer has been influenced considerably by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through Hinduism and Buddhism. The more colloquial registers have influenced, and have been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese, due to Old Khmer being the language of the historical empires of Chenla, Angkor and, presumably, their earlier predecessor state, Funan.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

Head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.


The incumbent prime minister, since 1985, is Hun Sen of the Cambodian People's Party. He served from 1985 to 1993 and was second prime minister from 1993 to 1998. Elected as prime minister in his own right in 1998, he is the longest serving prime minister in Cambodian history.

Hun Sen Prime Minister of Cambodia

Hun Sen is a Cambodian politician and the Prime Minister of Cambodia, President of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Member of Parliament (MP) for Kandal. He has served as Prime Minister since 1985, making him the world's second longest-serving prime minister, the longest-serving head of government of Cambodia and one of the longest-serving leaders in the world. From 1979 to 1986 and again from 1987 to 1990, Hun Sen also served as Cambodia's foreign minister. His full honorary title is Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen. Born Hun Bunal, he changed his name to Hun Sen in 1972 two years after joining the Khmer Rouge.

Cambodian Peoples Party Cambodian political party

The Cambodian People's Party, founded as the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party, is the current ruling political party of Cambodia. It was the sole legal party in the country at the time of the People's Republic of Kampuchea (1979–1989) and during the first two years of the State of Cambodia. Its name was changed during the final years of the State of Cambodia, when the single-party system as well as the Marxist–Leninist ideology were abandoned. Having governed Cambodia since 1979, it is one of the longest-ruling parties in the world. The General Secretary of the party from 1979 to 1981 was Pen Sovan. The KPRP was originally a Marxist–Leninist party, although it took on a more reformist outlook in the mid-1980s under Heng Samrin's leadership. In the 1990s, the KPRP officially dropped its commitment to socialist ideology altogether when it renamed itself the Cambodian People's Party. It is also currently the oldest active party in Cambodia. Since 2018, the party commands all 125 seats in the National Assembly, and 58 of 62 seats in the Senate. Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, has served as the party's President since 2015.


The position was first held by King Norodom Sihanouk in March 1945, during the French colonial administration. [4] Cambodia's first parliamentary elections were held on 1 September 1946. The Democratic Party remained the dominant-party in Cambodian politics throughout the 1940s until the formation of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum in 1955. Sangkum was the dominant-party in Cambodia from 1955 to 1970 following a military coup by General Lon Nol. Until 1993, it was not an elected position. Merely few prime ministers were elected including Sisowath Youtevong, Norodom Sihanouk, and Lon Nol. In 1993, constitutional monarchy was restored in Cambodia. The role of the prime minister was officially recognized in the constitution. The CPP–FUNCINPEC coalition agreement of 1993 marked a brief period in Cambodia where Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh were coequal Prime Ministers. The coalition lasted from 2 July until 21 September 1993, when Norodom Ranariddh then became the first democratically elected prime minister and Hun Sen was second prime minister. In 1997 Sen's Cambodian People's Party staged a coup that replaced Ranariddh with Ung Huot for one year until the criticized 1998 election installed Sen as sole prime minister.

Norodom Sihanouk 20th-century King of Cambodia

Norodom Sihanouk was a Cambodian royal, politician, composer and filmmaker who was twice King and numerous times Prime Minister of Cambodia. In Cambodia, he is also known as Samdech Euv. Until the early years of his rule, his family ruled over the French Protectorate of Cambodia.

French Protectorate of Cambodia Aspect of Cambodian history

The French Protectorate of Cambodia refers to the Kingdom of Cambodia when it was a French protectorate within French Indochina — a collection of Southeast Asian protectorates within the French Colonial Empire. The protectorate was established in 1867 when the Cambodian King Norodom requested the establishment of a French protectorate over his country, meanwhile Siam renounced suzerainty over Cambodia and officially recognised the French protectorate on Cambodia. Cambodia was integrated into the French Indochina union in 1887 along with the French colonies and protectorates in Vietnam. In 1946, Cambodia was granted self-rule within the French Union and had its protectorate status abolished in 1949. Cambodia later gained its independence and the independence day was celebrated on 9 November 1953.

The Democratic Party was a left-leaning, pro-independence political party formed in 1946 by Prince Sisowath Youtevong, who had previously been a member of the French Section of the Workers' International. It was the sole dominant party in Cambodia from 1946 until the creation of Sangkum in 1955.


The prime minister is required to be a member of parliament. He first needs to be elected by a majority of parliament before a swearing-in ceremony can take place. The inauguration of the prime minister takes place at the Royal Palace. The prime minister-designate takes an oath of office in front of the monarch and the two heads of the Thammayut and Mohanikay order. A cabinet will then be unveiled. The formation of a new government takes place no more than 60 days after the election, as defined in the constitution. The prime minister is assisted by deputy prime ministers.

A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.

A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some countries, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different even though both positions are "number two" offices. The position of deputy prime minister should not be confused with the Canadian Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister of Canada, a nonpolitical civil servant position. Also, the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada does not act as a "number two".

Article 125 of the Constitution [5] states that should the prime minister resign or die in office, an acting prime minister is appointed.


Prime Minister's Office. Cambodian Peace Palace.JPG
Prime Minister's Office.

The Peace Palace serves as the principal workplace of the prime minister. [6] It was inaugurated on 19 October 2010 by the King. However, the prime minister resides at his own private residence.

Peace Palace, Phnom Penh principal workplace of the Prime Minister of Cambodia

The Peace Palace, also known as the Office of the Prime Minister of Cambodia, is the principal workplace of the Prime Minister of Cambodia. It is located in Phnom Penh. The building was officially inaugurated by King Norodom Sihamoni on 19 October 2010. Its overall cost was US$50 million. Aside from being the office of the Prime Minister, the Peace Palace has also chaired the East Asia Summit in 2012 and many other meetings with foreign leaders.

Constitutional powers

The powers of the Prime Minister are established by the current Constitution of Cambodia, adopted on 24 September 1993 and amended on 4 March 1999. [7] They are defined by the following articles of the Constitution:

Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia

The Deputy Prime Minister (Khmer : ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី) serves as the deputy to the Prime Minister of Cambodia and is the second highest position in the Cabinet. As of September 2018, there are 10 deputy prime ministers.

NameIncumbent sinceOther officesParty
Sar Kheng 3 February 1992Minister of Interior Cambodian People's Party
Hor Namhong 16 July 2004none Cambodian People's Party
Tea Banh 16 July 2004Minister of National Defense Cambodian People's Party
Bin Chhin 5 September 2007Minister in Charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers Cambodian People's Party
Yim Chhaily 25 September 2008none Cambodian People's Party
Men Sam An 25 September 2008Minister of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection Cambodian People's Party
Ke Kim Yan12 March 2009none Cambodian People's Party
Prak Sokhonn 6 September 2018Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Cambodian People's Party
Aun Pornmoniroth 6 September 2018Minister of Economy and Finance Cambodian People's Party
Chea Sophara 6 September 2018Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Cambodian People's Party

List of Prime Ministers (1993–present)

Hun SenUng HuotHun SenNorodom RanariddhPrime Minister of Cambodia
No.PortraitNameTerm of OfficePolitical PartyTerm
Took OfficeLeft OfficeTime in Office
1 Ranariddh 1990s.jpg Norodom Ranariddh
នរោត្តម រណឫទ្ធិ
First Prime Minister
2 July 19936 August 19974 years, 35 days FUNCINPEC 1(1993)
2 Hun Sen (2016) cropped.jpg Hun Sen
ហ៊ុន សែន
Second Prime Minister
24 September 199330 November 19985 years, 67 days Cambodian People's Party
3 No image.svg Ung Huot
អ៊ឹង ហួត
First Prime Minister
6 August 199730 November 19981 year, 116 days FUNCINPEC
(2) Hun Sen (2016) cropped.jpg Hun Sen
ហ៊ុន សែន
30 November 1998Incumbent20 years, 126 days Cambodian People's Party 2(1998)

Living former Prime Ministers

As of April2019, there are four living former prime ministers, as shown below. The most recent death of a former Prime Minister was that of Pen Sovan on 29 October 2016, aged 80. [8]

See also

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Chea Sim Cambodian politician

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Sar Kheng Cambodian Minister of the Interior

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Cabinet of Cambodia

The Cabinet of Cambodia, officially known as the Council of Ministers, is the executive body of the Kingdom of Cambodia led by the Prime Minister, assisted by Deputy Prime Ministers, Senior Ministers, Ministers, and Secretaries of State. Members of the Cabinet are nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the Monarch.

Royal Council of the Throne

The Royal Council of the Throne of Cambodia is a nine-member council of Cambodia responsible for selecting the Cambodian monarch. It was established by the constitution on 24 September 1993. The nine members of the council include the Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly, President of the Senate, First and Second Vice Presidents of the National Assembly, First and Second Vice Presidents of the Senate, and the two heads of the order of Mahanikay and Thammayut. The council was active only in October 2004 when it named Norodom Sihamoni as the new king. The voting is conducted through a secret ballot by the nine members.


  1. "Cambodian Prime Minister gets less than USD 1,000 per month". The Cambodia Herald. 15 October 2014. Archived from the original on 21 September 2016. Retrieved 17 August 2016. Prime Minister gets salary and other allowances equal to 3,675,000 Riels about USD 918...
  2. Willemnns, Alex (4 November 2014). "CNRP Reveals Kem Sokha's Monthly Salary". The Cambodia Daily . Retrieved 5 September 2018. A lawmaker with no committee responsibilities takes home a $975 salary, but allowances (including $500 for gasoline) boost the figure to $2,650.
  3. "36 Cambodian Prime Ministers since 1945". Khmer Times. 21 August 2014.
  4. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  5. (in French) Ambassade royale du Cambodge en France - Constitution Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Cambodia's proud history of building art". The Phnom Penh Post. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  7. (in French) Ambassade royale du Cambodge en France - Constitution Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "Ex-Prime Minister Pen Sovann dies at 80". The Phnom Penh Post. 31 October 2016.