Cambodia Government and Politics

Following the 1993 constitution, last revised in 2006, Cambodia is a unitary constitutional monarchy according to 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.

Cambodia Country Flag

Reference: Cambodia Flag Meaning

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 there.

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.

Administrative division

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 respectively.


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.

Cambodia’s defense

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 helicopters.

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.

International operations

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.

Cambodia Head of Government

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