Cambodia Politics

Cambodia Politics, Population and Geography

Background: In 1975, after a five-year war, the communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and proceeded to evict the inhabitants of all cities and towns to the countryside; over 1 million displaced people died as a result of mass executions and hardships. In 1978, after the Vietnamese invasion, the Khmer Rouge were pushed back into the countryside and began a guerrilla war that lasted 13 years. The 1993 UN-sponsored elections, as well as the rapid decline of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. contributed to some normalization of the situation. The creation of a coalition government formed after the national elections in 1998 led to the strengthening of political stability and the end of the resistance of the remaining parts of the Khmer Rouge. See to know more about Cambodia History.


Location: Southeast Asia, located on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
Geographic coordinates: 13° 00′ N. latitude, 105° 00′ E
Reference map: Southeast Asia.
Area: total: 181,040 km2; land surface area: 176,520 km2; water surface area: 4,520 km2
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Oklahoma.
Land borders: total: 2,572 km; with neighboring states: with Vietnam 1,228 km, with Laos 541 km, with Thailand 803 km.
Coastline: 443 km.
Maritime claims: neutral waters: 24 nautical miles; continental shelf: 200 nautical miles; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; rainy and monsoon season from May to November; dry season from December to April; seasonal temperature fluctuations are negligible.
Terrain: mostly low and flat plains; mountains in the northwest and north.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m; highest point: Mount Oral 1,810 m.
Natural resources: timber, precious stones, small iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 13%; cultivated land: 0%; pastures: 11%; forests and plantations: 66%; others: 10% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 920 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural hazards: monsoon rains (June to November); floods; occasional droughts.
Environmental Issues: Widespread illegal and predatory gem mining along the border with Thailand, leading to loss of natural habitat and reduction of biodiversity (in particular, the draining of mangrove swamps threatens fish resources); soil erosion; poor quality of drinking water in rural areas; shipments of toxic waste from Taiwan that caused riots in Kampong-gsaom (Sihanoukville) in December 1998.
International agreements on environmental protection: contributor: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Marine Life Conservation, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Law of the Sea, Pollution of the sea.
Geography Note: Rice plantations and forests dominate the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake areas.


Population: 12,491,501; note: estimates for this country take into account rising AIDS deaths; due to the spread of AIDS, life expectancy, population size and growth may actually be lower, and child mortality and overall death rates correspondingly higher; changes in the age structure and ratio of priests may also occur (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 41.25% (male 2,626,821; female 2,526,51) 15 to 64: 55.28% (male 3,253,611; female 3,651,129); older Age 65: 3.47% (male 177,577; female 255,88 (2001 est.)
Population growth: 2.25% (2001 est.)
Birth rate: 33.16 newborns/1,000 (2001 est.) )
.Mortality: 10.65 deaths/1000 people (2001 est.)
Migration: 0 pers. /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 0.89 male/female; over 65: 0.69 male/female; for the general population: 0.94 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 65.41 deaths/1000 newborns (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 56.82 years; men: 54.62 years; women: 59.12 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 4.74 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: 4.04% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 220,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 14,000 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Cambodian; adjective: Cambodian.
Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%.
Believers: Buddhists 95%, representatives of other religions 5%.
Language(s): Khmer (official) 95%, French, English.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 35%; men: 48%; women: 22% (1990 est.).


Common long form: Kingdom of Cam-
Common short form: Cambodia; local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea; local short form: Kampuchea; former names: Khmer Republic, Republic of Kampuchea.
Government: Multiparty liberal democracy under a constitutional monarch established in September 1993.
Capital: Phnom Penh.
Administrative division: 20 provinces (khett) and 4 cities* (krong): Banthemeanchey, Battam-bang, Kampongspy, Kampongthom, Kampongcham, Kampongchnang, Kampot, Kandal, Kahkong, Kep*, Kratie, Mondulkiri, Otdarmeant-ey, Pailin*, Phnom Penh*, Pursat, Prey Viear, Prey Veng, Rotanakiri, Svay Rieng, Sihanoukville*, Siem Reap, Stung Traeng, Takeo.
Independence: November 9, 1953 (before 1953 – the possession of France).
National holiday: Independence Day, November 9 (since 1953).
Constitution: promulgated 21 September 1993
Legal system: combination of codes adopted under the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, influenced by the French legal system, royal decrees, legislation influenced by customary law and vestiges of communist legal theory; in recent years, the role of common law has increased.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: King Norodom SIHANOUK (restored to the throne 24 September 1993);
head of the government: Prime Minister HUN SEN (since November 30, 1998);
Government: council of ministers appointed by the monarch; elections: not held; the monarch is elected by the Council of the Royal Throne; the prime minister is appointed by the monarch after a vote of confidence obtained in the National Assembly.
Legislature: bicameral parliament, consisting of the National Assembly (122 seats; members of the House are elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years) and the Senate (61 seats; two members of the Senate are appointed by the monarch, two are elected by the National Assembly and 57 are elected by “official electors”; the term of office of the House is 5 years ); elections: National Assembly – last held 26 July 1998 (next to be held in 2003); Senate – last held 2 March 1999 (next to be held in 2004); election results: National Assembly – distribution of votes between parties – SPP 41%, FUN-CINPEC 32%, SRP 14%, other 13%; distribution of seats – CPP 64, FUNCIN-RES 43, SRP 15; Senate – distribution of votes between parties – no data; distribution of seats between parties – SPP 31, FUNCINPEC 21, SRP7.
Judicial branch: The Supreme Judicial Council, provided for in the Constitution, was formed in December 1997; Supreme Court and lower courts.
Political parties and leaders: Buddhist Liberal Party (BLP) ([IENG MOULY]); People’s Party of Cambodia (CPP) (CHEA SIM [CHEA SIM]); Khmer Civic Party (KCP) (NGUON SYUR [NGUON SOEUR]) National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and United Cambodia (FUNCINPEC) (Prince NORODOM RANARIDDH) Sam Rangsi Party (SRP) (former Khmer Nation Party (KNP) (SAM RANGSI)
Groups political influence and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: ACCT, ARF, AsDB, ASEAN, CP, ESCAP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (subscriber), ITU, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (observer).
US Diplomatic Mission: Head of Mission: Ambassador Roland ENG; office: 4500 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011; phone: [1] (202) 726-7742; fax: [1] (202) 726-8381.
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Kent M. WIEDEMANN; embassy: 16-18 Mongkol lem St. 228 Phnom Penh; mailing address: Box P, APO AP 96546; phone: [855] (23) 216-436; fax: [855] (23) 216-437.
Flag Description: three horizontal stripes of blue (top), red (twice as wide as blue) and blue; a white temple with three black-outlined towers depicting Angkorwat are located in the center of the red band.

Cambodia Politics