Former Premier Prince Ranariddh Norodom Dies at 77

Prince Norodom Ranariddh and Hun Sen

Phnom Penh, Cambodia — Prince Ranariddh Norodom of the Kingdom of Cambodia passed away on November 28, 2021 in France. He was 77 years old. He is the son of the late King Norodom Sihanouk.

Prince Ranariddh was the president of FUNCINPEC — a Cambodian royalist party. He won the 1993 UNTAC-sponsored election but had to share power with his rival Hun Sen who had threaten to divide the country in half. They served as Co-Prime Ministers for 4 years until he was ousted by Hun Sen in a bloody coup in 1997. He spent the remaining years in the political shadow of Hun Sen though he served as President of the National Assembly between 1998 and 2006. Hun Sen held the dictatorial power to today.
He was expelled from the FUNCINPEC party from 2006 to 2015 when he made a political come back and re-entered the national election after the dissolution of the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party in 2017. On July 29, 2018, as they were traveling to a campaign event in the province of Preah Sihanouk, a taxi hit the royal motorcade head on, causing the death of his wife Ouk Phala and serious injury to the Prince who was air lifted to a hospital in Phnom Penh. Prince Ranariddh has appointed his eldest son, Prince Chakravut to take his place in the FUNCINPEC party after his car crash. Prince Chakravut is the son from his estranged wife Princess Marie.
Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has been in power for 37 years, took 100% of the seats in the 2018 national election. Cambodia has become a one party state. Many activists have urged Cambodians to boycott the election and called it “meaningless”.