Heng Samrin

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His Excellency
Samdech Heng Samrin
MP NM GCC
Heng Samrin cropped.jpg
4th President of the National Assembly
Incumbent
Assumed office
21 March 2006
Monarch Norodom Sihamoni
Prime Minister Hun Sen
Vice President Kem Sokha (2014–present)
Khuon Sodary (2012–present)
Nguon Nhel (2006–2014)
Say Chhum (2006–2012)
Preceded by Norodom Ranariddh
First Vice President of the National Assembly
In office
26 January 1998 – 21 March 2006
President Norodom Ranariddh
Deputy Nguon Nhel (as Second Vice President)
Succeeded by Nguon Nhel
Member of Parliament for Kampong Cham
Kandal (1993–1998)
Incumbent
Assumed office
24 September 1993
Member of the Kampuchean Parliament
for Phnom Penh
In office
1 May 1981 – 30 June 1993
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Parliament dissolved
General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party
In office
5 December 1981 – 17 October 1991
Preceded by Pen Sovan
Succeeded by Chea Sim, as President of the Cambodian People's Party
President of the People's Republic of Kampuchea
In office
7 January 1979 – 6 April 1992
Prime Minister Pen Sovan
Chan Sy
Hun Sen
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Chea Sim, as Chairman of the Council of State
Personal details
Born (1934-05-25) 25 May 1934 (age 80)
Ponhea Kreak, Kampong Cham, Cambodia
Political party Cambodian People's Party
Spouse(s) Sao Ty
Children 4
Religion Theravada Buddhism

Heng Samrin (Khmer: ហេង សំរិន; born 25 May 1934) is the President of the National Assembly of Cambodia, Honorary President of the Cambodian People's Party, and a Member of Parliament for Kampong Cham Province. He previously served as the de facto leader of the Hanoi-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea from 1979 to 1981 and General Secretary of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party from 1981 to 1991. Heng Samrin is Cambodia's oldest parliamentarian, at 80 years of age. His honorary title is "Samdech Akeak Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin" (Khmer: សម្តេចអគ្គមហាពញាចក្រីហេង សំរិន).

Life and career[edit]

Heng Samrin was born in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia, in 1934. He became a member of the Khmer Rouge communist movement led by Pol Pot, and he became a political commissar and army division commander when the Khmer Rouge took over the government in 1975. In 1978, he defected from the Khmer Rouge, which was backed by China, and fled to Vietnam. There he became one of the founding members of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation (FUNSK). Later that year, Heng returned to Cambodia, leading a rebellion which was backed by Vietnam and the Soviet Union.

After a Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979, Vietnamese occupation authorities established the People's Republic of Kampuchea, installing Heng and other pro-Vietnamese Communist politicians as leaders of the new government.[1] He became chairman of the People's Revolutionary Council of the PRK in 1979. In 1981 he became chairman of the Council of State and secretary-general of the People's Revolutionary Party. Though at first he was the effective leader of the government, he quickly lost much of his power when the more moderate Hun Sen became Prime Minister in 1985. As Vietnamese influence declined, Heng began losing his posts, including the post of secretary-general in 1991 and chairman of the council of state in 1992. When King Norodom Sihanouk was restored in 1993, Heng was given the honorary title of Sâmdech, senior advisor of the King, and was made honorary chairman of Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party. He was vice chairman of the National Assembly of Cambodia (1998–2006). Since 2006, he acts as Chairman of the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland.

Today, Heng Samrin is a much loved and respected figure among the members of the Cambodian People's Party, even though his duties are often largely ceremonial.[2] The Cambodian People's Party recently released a book about him called A Man of the People,[3] dedicated to him as a hero.[4]

His full title is Samdach Akeak Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, Protean Radhsaphea ney Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Heller, H (2007). "Cambodia: Modern History". In Marshall Cavendish. World and Its peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia 6. 
  2. ^ Hunt, Luke. "Heng Samrin, Man of the People". The Diplomate. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  3. ^ Heng Samrin, A Man of the People. 
  4. ^ Hunt, Luke. "Heng Samrin, Man of the People". Retrieved 1 June 2012. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Khieu Samphan
President of the State Presidium
Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea
1979 – 1981
Succeeded by
Himself
Chairman of the State Council
Preceded by
Himself
Chairman of the Revolutionary Council
Chairman of the State Council of Cambodia
1981 – 1992
Succeeded by
Chea Sim
Preceded by
Norodom Ranariddh
President of the National Assembly of Cambodia
2006 – present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Pen Sovan
General Secretary of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party
1981 – 1991
Succeeded by
Chea Sim
President of the People's Party