Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia
Royal arms of Cambodia.svg
Flag of Cambodia.svg
Hun Sen July 2019.jpg
Hun Sen
since 14 January 1985
Office of the Council of Ministers
Royal Government of Cambodia
Office of the Prime Minister
StatusHead of government
(de facto)
Member ofCouncil of Ministers
Royal Council of the Throne
Reports toNational Assembly
ResidencePeace Palace
SeatPhnom Penh, Cambodia
NominatorLargest political party in parliament
Term lengthFive years
renewable; no term limits
Constituting instrumentConstitution of Cambodia
Inaugural holderNorodom Sihanouk
Formation18 March 1945 (77 years ago) (1945-03-18)
Salary10,000,000 KHR per month[1]

The prime minister of Cambodia (Khmer: នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីនៃកម្ពុជា, Néayôk Rôdthâmôntrei ney Kâmpŭchéa [niəjuək rɔəttʰamɔntrəj nəj kampuciə]) 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 Government of Cambodia. The prime minister is 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; 32 as official prime ministers, and 4 in acting capacities.[2]Hun Sen, of the Cambodian People's Party, has been the incumbent prime minister since 1985. He served from 1985 to 1993 and was Second Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998 alongside Norodom Ranariddh (1993–1997) and Ung Huot (1997–1998). Elected as prime minister in his own right in 1998, he is the longest serving prime minister in Cambodian history.


The position was first held by King Norodom Sihanouk in March 1945, during the French colonial administration.[3] On 12 March 1945, Sihanouk collaborated with Imperial Japan and declared Cambodia's independence from France. On 18 March, he proclaimed himself prime minister and formed the first government which lasted until August 1945. He was succeeded by Son Ngoc Thanh until October 1945. Following the surrender of Japan, the French administration returned, ending the Japanese occupation.[4]

In 1946, France introduced reforms into its colonies in Indochina, and allowed for the first time political parties and parliamentary elections. 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 in 1955. Sangkum was the only legal party in Cambodia from 1955 to 1970 until a military coup by Marshal Lon Nol.

In 1993, constitutional monarchy was restored in Cambodia. The role of the prime minister was officially recognised in the constitution. Prince Norodom Ranariddh was considered the first democratically elected prime minister in a United Nations sponsored election. The CPP–FUNCINPEC coalition agreement of 1993 marked a brief period in Cambodia where Hun Sen and Prince Norodom Ranariddh were coequal Prime Ministers. In 1997, Hun Sen staged a coup that removed Ranariddh from office. The National Assembly voted to confirm Ung Huot to complete the remainder of Ranariddh's term. The 1998 election and every election since has been dominated by Hun Sen and the CPP. Unlike most parliamentary democracies, the prime minister serves a fixed five-year term in office, and does not have the power to call a snap election nor dissolve parliament prematurely.


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.

Article 125 of the Constitution[5] states that should the prime minister resign or die in office, an acting prime minister is appointed. In July 2022, the constitution was amended to eliminate the required majority vote in parliament to elect the prime minister.[6]


The Prime Minister's Office.
The Prime Minister's Office.

The Peace Palace serves as the principal workplace of the prime minister.[7] It was inaugurated on 19 October 2010 by the King. However, the prime minister resides at his own private residence.

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.[8] They are defined by the following articles of the Constitution:

Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia

The Deputy prime minister (Khmer: ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី, Ŏbânéayôk Rôdthâmôntrei [upaniəjuək rɔətmuntrəj]) serves as the deputy to the prime pinister of Cambodia and is the second most senior position in the Cabinet. As of September 2018, the prime minister is served by 10 deputy prime ministers concurrently.

Name Portrait Incumbent since Other positions
Sar Kheng
Cambodian Interior Minister Sar Kheng (cropped).jpg
3 February 1992 Minister of Interior
Hor Namhong
Hor Namhong 2015 (cropped).jpg
16 July 2004 None
Tea Banh
General Tea Banh.jpg
16 July 2004 Minister of National Defence
Bin Chhin 5 September 2007 Minister in charge of the Office of the Council of Ministers
Yim Chhaily 25 September 2008 None
Men Sam An 25 September 2008 Minister of National Assembly–Senate Relations and Inspection
Ke Kim Yan 12 March 2009 None
Prak Sokhonn
Prak Sokhonn-01997.jpg
6 September 2018 Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Aun Pornmoniroth
MEF Minister Aun Pornmoniroth 20160607 (cropped).jpg
6 September 2018 Minister of Economy and Finance
Chea Sophara 6 September 2018 Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction

List of prime ministers (1993–present)

Hun SenUng HuotHun SenPrince Norodom Ranariddh
No. Portrait Name In office Party Term Monarch
From To Duration
Ranariddh 1990s.jpg
First PM
Norodom Ranariddh
នរោត្តម រណឫទ្ធិ
24 September
6 August
3 years, 316 days FUNCINPEC 1 (1993) King
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk (1983).jpg

Hun Sen (2007).jpg
Second PM
Hun Sen
ហ៊ុន សែន
24 September
30 November
5 years, 67 days CPP
No image.png
First PM
Ung Huot
អ៊ឹង ហួត
6 August
30 November
1 year, 116 days FUNCINPEC
Hun Sen July 2019.jpg
Hun Sen
ហ៊ុន សែន
30 November
Present 24 years, 24 days CPP 2 (1998)
3 (2003)
4 (2008)
Norodom Sihamoni
King Norodom Sihamoni (2019).jpg

5 (2013)
6 (2018)

Living former prime ministers

As of December 2022, there are only two living former prime ministers, shown in order of service. The most recent death of a former prime minister was that of Norodom Ranariddh on 28 November 2021, aged 77.[9]

See also


  1. ^ Taing, Rinith (3 April 2020). "Several ministers and officials pledge to donate salaries to fight coronavirus". Khmer Times. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  2. ^ "36 Cambodian Prime Ministers since 1945". Khmer Times. 21 August 2014.
  3. ^ "Countries Ca-Ce". Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  4. ^ "សៀវភៅប្រវត្តិវិទ្យា (សម័យអាណាព្យាបាលបារាំង–ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជាទី២)" (in Khmer). Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. 1 November 2017.
  5. ^ (in French) Ambassade royale du Cambodge en France – Constitution Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Cambodia's proposed constitutional amendment against people's will, citizens say". Radio Free Asia. 15 July 2022. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Cambodia's proud history of building art". The Phnom Penh Post. 13 July 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
  8. ^ (in French) Ambassade royale du Cambodge en France – Constitution Archived 2 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Former Cambodian premier Prince Norodom Ranariddh dies at 77". Reuters. 28 November 2021. Retrieved 29 November 2021.

Further reading