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CAMBODIA
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Phnom-penh

Society

State structure

Coat of arms Cambodia Photo:Public domain

According to the September 1993 Constitution, Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy with a democratic multiparty system and an elected parliament. The King is the head of state of Cambodia, symbol of national unity and must therefore act as the highest political arbiter, but is bound by the constitution and therefore has a mainly ceremonial function.

On paper there is a division between the legislative, executive and judiciary, but in practice democracy does not always work well. The king is also Commander in Chief of Cambodia's Royal Armed Forces and Chairman of the National Defense Council. Kingship is not a hereditary office, the King is elected for life by a throne council consisting of 7 members. His deputy is the Speaker of Parliament, who is also a member of the Throne Council and appoints the Prime Minister.

The Throne Council is made up of the Presidents and Vice Presidents of the Senate and Assembly, the Prime Minister and the leaders of the two Buddhist orders.

Parliament

Cambodia Parliament Photo:Kiensvay Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

Since 1999 the parliament has consisted of two chambers. The National Assembly or the House of Commons consists of 122 representatives who are elected once every five years. The Senate or House of Lords consists of 61 delegates who are partly elected and partly appointed; their term of office is six years. All Cambodians aged 18 and over are allowed to vote.

The government consists of the Prime Minister, the Ministers and the Secretaries of State. The king appoints the prime minister and the cabinet after approval by the National Assembly. The government is answerable to parliament and the Assembly can send the government home, provided there is a two-thirds majority. For the current political situation, see chapter history.

Administrative division

Cambodia is administratively divided into five regions and further into 20 provinces and four separate urban administrative areas:

provincecapitalsurfacepopulation per 1998
Banteay Mean CheySisophon6.679 km2577.772
Bat DambângBat Dambâng11.702 km2793.129
Kâmpóng ChamKâmpóng Cham9.799 km21.608.914
Kâmpóng ChhnangKâmpóng Chhnang5.521 km2417.693
Kâmpóng SpoeKâmpóng Spoe7.017 km2598.882
Kâmpóng ThumKâmpóng Thum13.814 km2569.060
KâmpôtKâmpôt4.873 km2528.405
KândalTa Khmau3.568 km21.075.125
Kaôh KôngKrong Kaôh Kông11.160 km2132.106
KrâchéhKrâchéh11.094 km2263.175
Môndôl KiriSen Monorom14.288 km232.407
Otdar Mean CheySâmraông6.158 km268.279
PouthisatPouthisat12.692 km2360.445
Preah VihéarThêng Méancheay13.788 km2119.261
Prey VêngPrey Vêng4.883 km2946.042
Rôtanak KiriLumphat10.782 km294.243
Siem RéabSiem Réab10.299 km2696.164
Stoeng TrêngStoeng Trêng11.092 km281.074
Svav RiengSvav Rieng2.966 km2478.252
TakêvTakêv3.563 km2790.168

Urban areas

provincecapitalsurfaceinhabitants per 1998
Krong KêhKrong Kêh336 km228.660
Krong PailinPailin803 km222.906
Krong Preah SihanoukPreah Sihanouk868 km2155.690
Phnom PenhPhnom Penh290 km2999.804

Education

Schoolclass CambodiaPhto:Helt Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

Education only got off to a good start after the disappearance of the Khmer Rouge. The French had paid virtually no attention to it in the colonial period and there was no education whatsoever under the Khmer Rouge. Intellectuals and therefore teachers were the first to be tackled by them, with the result that an education system had to be built from 1979 onwards.

Cambodian children are obliged to attend school and primary education starts at the age of six. This primary education lasts six years and is followed by lower and upper years of three years each. After this, students can progress to higher education, including two universities, the University of Cambodia and the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Most schools in Cambodia are state schools, there are also a number of private schools and Buddhist monastic schools.

Despite the often poor quality of schools, illiteracy has declined sharply since 1994. Illiteracy still occurs mainly in rural areas, among minorities and among women. One of the biggest problems is the teachers, who often do not have the necessary qualifications and are poorly motivated because of the mediocre salaries and poor working conditions.

Typical Cambodia

Landmines CambodiaPhoto:Neil Rickards Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic no changes made

MINES

There are still many minefields on the territory of Cambodia. These minefields date back to the 1980s and were created during the battle between the government army and the Khmer Rouge.

In 1993 the number of mines was estimated at ten million, located everywhere, but especially around Battambang in the west and Pailin on the border with Thailand. The mines have already cost many victims; more than 40,000 Cambodians have been maimed. It is expected that it will take another 25 years before all mines are cleared.

However, if one stays on the prescribed paths as a tourist, little can happen.

Cambodia Angkor Wat tree stumpsPhoto:GayleKaren Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

ANGKOR WHAT

The kingdom of Angkor and the accompanying temple complex originated in the turbulent time of the 9th to the 12th century, during which capital was regularly changed.

After all, the Khmer king Surayavarman II (1113-150) was the one who went down in history as the builder of Angkor Wat. Construction took place in the first half of the 12th century. The temple complex is considered one of the largest structures in Asia with an area of 1.5 km by 1.3 km and is surrounded by a moat 200 meters wide.

The destruction of Angkor Wat by the Cham in 1177 gave one of Surayavarman's successors the opportunity not only to restore Angkor, but also to build the area with new temples and a new city of Angkor Thom.

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Sources

Canesso, C. / Cambodia
Chelsea House Publishers

Colet, J. / Cambodia handbook
Footprint Handbooks

Green, R. / Cambodia
Lucent Books

Kleinen, J. / Cambodja
Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen ; Novib

Peterse, L. / Cambodja
Gottmer/Becht,

Wulf, A. / Cambodja, Laos
Het Spectrum

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated June 2021
Copyright: Team Landenweb