The government of Cambodia is considered a constitutional monarchy, which means that the monarch rules according to a written constitution. This document sets forth the legal limits of power held by the monarch. In Cambodia, the Prime Minister acts as head of government while the Monarch acts as head of state, a symbol of national unity. The government is carried out by a Parliamentary system and three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial. This article takes a closer look at each branch.
Executive Branch Of The Government Of Cambodia
The executive branch of government is headed by the Prime Minister. The President and Vice President of the National Assembly, one of the houses of Parliament, recommend a candidate for Prime Minister based on the political party in power. The members of the National Assembly vote on the candidate and the Monarch conducts the official appointment.
Once in office, the Prime Minister selects a Council of Ministers, who are the heads of the various ministries and must answer to the Prime Minister. Some of the Ministries that make up the executive branch of Cambodia include: Commerce, Culture and Fine Arts, Health, Information, Mines and Energy, Planning, Tourism, Water Resources and Meteorology, Women’s Affairs, Rural Development, and Environment. The Prime Minister calls to order and leads the meetings of the Council of Ministers to ensure each ministry is conducting its responsibilities correctly.
The executive branch carries out the laws and regulations as decided by the legislative branch.
Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Cambodia
The legislative branch of government of Cambodia consists of a bicameral parliament: the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly is made up of 123 members, who are elected by the general population on the basis of proportional representation. Each member serves a 5-year term. The Senate is made up of 61 members. Of these individuals, 2 are appointed by the Monarch and 2 are elected by the National Assembly. The remaining members are elected by special electors from lower levels of government. Senate members serve 6-year terms.
The Cambodian People’s Party holds the majority of seats in both the National Assembly (68 seats) and the Senate (43 seats). The second largest party represented in the National Assembly is the Cambodia National Rescue Party (55 seats). In the Senate, it is the Sam Rainsy Party (11 seats). In order to serve in the legislative branch, candidates must be at least 25 years old.
The role of the legislative branch is to pass laws. These laws are then sent to the Monarch for final approval. The Monarch does not have the power to veto new laws.
Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Cambodia
The judicial branch is made up of various courts of laws, which act independently of the rest of the government. This branch of government was mandated by the Constitution of 1993, however, it was not established until 1997. The highest court in Cambodia is the Supreme Council of the Magistracy, which is headed by 17 judges.
The primary responsibility of this branch is to ensure the law is enforced by punishing criminals, negotiating disputes and lawsuits, and upholding the rights of the citizens of Cambodia.