The politics of Cambodia takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government and a Monarch is head of state. The kingdom formally takes place according to the nation's constitution (enacted in 1993) in a framework of a parliamentary, representative democracy. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate.
Cambodia Executive Branch
The Prime Minister of Cambodia is a representative from the ruling party of the National Assembly. He or she is appointed by the King on the recommendation of the President and Vice Presidents of the National Assembly. In order for a person to become Prime Minister, he or she must first be given a vote of confidence by the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister is officially the Head of Government in Cambodia. Upon entry into office, he or she appoints a Council of Ministers who are responsible to the Prime Minister. Officially, the Prime Minister's duties include chairing meetings of the Council of Ministers (Cambodia's version of a Cabinet) and appointing and leading a government. The Prime Minister and his government make up Cambodia's executive branch of government.
The current Prime Minister is Cambodian People's Party (CPP) member Hun Sen. He has held this position since the criticized 1998 election, one year after the CPP staged a bloody coup in Phnom Penh to overthrow elected Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, president of the FUNCINPEC party.
Cambodia Legislative branch
The legislative branch of the Cambodian government is made up of a bicameral parliament.
- The National Assembly (Radhsaphea) has 123 members, elected for a five-year term by proportional representation.
The official duty of the Parliament is to legislate and make laws. Bills passed by the Parliament are given to the King who gives the proposed bills Royal Assent. The King does not have veto power over bills passed by the National Assembly and thus, cannot withhold Royal Assent. The National Assembly also has the power to dismiss the Prime Minister and his government by a two-thirds vote of no confidence.
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