Following the 1993 constitution, last revised in 2006,
Cambodia is a unitary constitutional monarchy. The king's
personal position is strong, and he is more than a
ceremonial head of state. The king, when the previous king
dies, is chosen from the descendants of one of three former
kings. A throne council, made up of presidents and vice
presidents of the Senate and National Assembly, as well as
the prime minister and supreme patriarchs for two Buddhist
directions, is conducting the royal election.
Legislative authority has been added to a two-chamber
parliament, consisting of a National Assembly (Radhsphea)
with 123 members, elected in the general election for five
years, and a Senate (Protsaphea or Senate)
with 61 members, of which 57 are elected and four are
elected; two of the King and two of the National Assembly.
The voting age is 18 years. The government, appointed by the
king, is responsible to the National Assembly in the sense
that the latter can dismiss the government if 2 /
3of all the congregation members vote for it. The
prime minister is appointed by the king, on the suggestion
of the president of the National Assembly. The Prime
Minister must come from the largest party of the National
Assembly. All members of the government must either sit in
the National Assembly or belong to parties represented
The two main parties are FUNCINPEC (The United National
Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative
Cambodia), which is close to the King, and Cambodia's
People's Party (CPP), the former Soviet-oriented Communist
Party. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of KH and its meanings of Cambodia.
Cambodia is divided into 20 provinces (khait)
and four metropolitan areas (krong), as well as 185
districts (crook in the countryside, khan
in the cities) and smaller units called khum in the
countryside and song cat in the cities
The judiciary is led by a Supreme Court with two
chambers; under this there is an appeals court, a separate
military court and local courts of first instance in
municipalities and provinces. The judiciary is characterized
by a mixture of French-inspired law, royal decrees and
various legal provisions from the communist era. In recent
years, civil law has been expanded.
Cambodia has as an independent state the following names:
1) The Kingdom of Cambodia (until 1970), 2) the Khmer
Republic (under President Lon Nol 1970-75), 3) the
Democratic Kampuchea (under the Red Khmer 1975-79), 4) the
People's Republic Kampuchea (under the Vietnamese-supported
regime 1979–89), 5) The State of Cambodia (1989–93), 6) The
Kingdom of Cambodia (since May 1993).
Internally in Cambodia, the name Kampuchea is derived
from Kambu-yes, 'the people of Kambu'. Cambodia is
derived from the English Cambodia, which in turn is
derived from the Portuguese Camboxa and the French
Cambodge, both a distortion of Kampuchea. After the
Red Khmer regime insisted that the outside world should also
call the country Kampuchea, this name became associated with
this regime. The change of the country's international name
back to Cambodia/Cambodia was intended as a symbolic
attempt to distance the country from the Red Khmer.
Officially, Cambodia has military duty for men aged 18,
with a term of service of 18 months, but the discharge of
military service has not been implemented since 1993.
Cambodia contributes with peacekeeping forces to UN
operations. The total force figures for Cambodia's armed
forces are 124,300 active personnel, as well as 67,000
semi-military police forces (2018, IISS).
The army has a workforce of about 75,000 active
personnel. Heavy equipment includes over 200 heavy tanks
(T-54, T-55 and type 59), 70 storm tanks, and over 230
armored personnel vehicles.
The Air Force has a workforce of 1500 active personnel.
Materials include 12 light transport aircraft, and 22
The Navy has a personnel force of about 2,800 active
personnel, including about 1,500 Marines. The fleet included
14 patrol boats, one landing craft and one auxiliary craft.
Cambodia participated in 2018 UN operations in the
Central African Republic (MINUSCA) with 221 personnel, in
Lebanon (UNIFIL) with 184 personnel, in Mali (MINUSMA) with
303 personnel, and in South Sudan (UNMISS) with 79
personnel, and six observers.