Norodom Ranariddh facts for kids
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His Royal Highness
Samdech Krom Preah
Prince Norodom Ranariddh
Ranariddh in 2006
|President of the National Assembly|
25 November 1998 – 14 March 2006
|Vice President||Heng Samrin
|Preceded by||Chea Sim|
|Succeeded by||Heng Samrin|
|Prime Minister of Cambodia|
2 July 1993 – 6 August 1997
Serving with Hun Sen
|Preceded by||Hun Sen|
|Succeeded by||Ung Huot|
|President of FUNCINPEC|
19 January 2015 – 28 November 2021
|Preceded by||Norodom Arunrasmy|
February 1992 – 18 October 2006
|Preceded by||Nhiek Tioulong|
|Succeeded by||Keo Puth Rasmey|
|President of the Norodom Ranariddh Party|
November 2006 – October 2008
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Chhim Siek Leng|
December 2010 – August 2012
|Preceded by||Chhim Siek Leng|
|Succeeded by||Pheng Heng|
|President of the Community of Royalist People's Party|
16 March 2014 – 17 January 2015
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Position abolished|
|Member of Parliament
for Kampong Cham
24 November 2017 – 29 July 2018
25 November 1998 – 12 December 2006
|Member of Parliament
for Phnom Penh
14 June 1993 – 26 July 1998
2 January 1944|
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, French Indochina
|Died||28 November 2021
|Political party||FUNCINPEC (1983–2006; 2015–2021)|
|Community of Royalist People's Party (2014–15)
Norodom Ranariddh Party (2006–08; 2010–12)
(m. 1968; div. 2010)
(m. 2010; died 2018)
Norodom Rattana Devi
|Parents||Norodom Sihanouk (deceased)
Phat Kanhol (deceased)
|Alma mater||University of Provence|
|Reference style||His Royal Highness|
|Spoken style||Your Royal Highness|
Prince Norodom Ranariddh (Khmer: នរោត្តម រណឫទ្ធិ; 2 January 1944 – 28 November 2021) was a Cambodian politician and law academic. He was the second son of King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and a half-brother of the current King, Norodom Sihamoni. Ranariddh was the president of FUNCINPEC, a Cambodian royalist party. He was also the First Prime Minister of Cambodia following the restoration of the monarchy, serving between 1993 and 1997, and subsequently as the President of the National Assembly between 1998 and 2006.
Ranariddh was a graduate of the University of Provence and started his career as a law researcher and lecturer in France. In 1983, he joined FUNCINPEC and in 1986 became the chief of staff and commander-in-chief of Armée nationale sihanoukiste. Ranariddh became Secretary-General of FUNCINPEC in 1989, and its president in 1992. When FUNCINPEC won the 1993 Cambodian general election, it formed a coalition government with the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), which was jointly headed by two concurrently serving prime ministers. Ranariddh became the First Prime Minister of Cambodia while Hun Sen, who was from the CPP, became the Second Prime Minister. As the First Prime Minister, Ranariddh promoted business interests in Cambodia to leaders from regional countries and established the Cambodian Development Council (CDC).
From early 1996, relations between Ranariddh and Hun Sen deteriorated as Ranariddh complained of unequal distribution of government authority between FUNCINPEC and the CPP. Subsequently, both leaders publicly argued over issues such as the implementation of construction projects, signing of property development contracts, and their rival alliances with the Khmer Rouge. In July 1997, a major clash between troops separately aligned to FUNCINPEC and the CPP took place, forcing Ranariddh into exile. The following month, Ranariddh was ousted from his position as First Prime Minister.
He returned to Cambodia in March 1998, and led his party in the 1998 Cambodian general election. When FUNCINPEC lost the elections to the CPP, Ranariddh, after initially challenging the results, became President of the National Assembly in November 1998. He was seen as a potential successor to Sihanouk as the King of Cambodia, until in 2001 he renounced his interest in the succession. As the President of the National Assembly, Ranariddh was one of the nine members of the throne council which in 2004 selected Sihamoni as Sihanouk's successor.
In March 2006, Ranariddh resigned as the President of the National Assembly and in October 2006 was ousted as President of FUNCINPEC. The following month, he founded the Norodom Ranariddh Party (NRP). Accusations and a conviction of embezzlement drove him into exile again. He returned to Cambodia afer being pardoned in September 2008 and retired from politics. Between 2010 and 2012 he unsuccessfully attempted a merger of his NRP with FUNCINPEC. In 2014, he launched the short-lived Community of Royalist People's Party (CRPP) before returning to FUNCINPEC in January 2015. He was subsequently re-elected to the FUNCINPEC presidency.
Ranariddh was born in Phnom Penh to Sihanouk and his first wife, Phat Kanhol, who was a ballet dancer attached to the royal court. Ranariddh was separated from his mother at three years of age when she remarried, and subsequently grew up mostly under the care of his aunt, Norodom Ketkanya and grandaunt, Norodom Sobhana. Ranariddh attended primary education at Norodom School and completed part of his high school studies at Lycee Descartes in Phnom Penh. During his childhood, he developed a close relationship with his grandparents, Norodom Suramarit and Sisowath Kossamak, but was distanced from his father.
In 1958, Ranariddh was sent to a boarding school in Marseille together with his half-brother Norodom Chakrapong. Ranariddh initially planned to pursue medical studies as he did well in science subjects, but was persuaded by Kossamak to study law. After finishing high school in 1961, he enrolled in the undergraduate law programme of the University of Paris. He struggled to focus on his studies in Paris, which he attributed to the social distractions that he encountered in the city.
In 1962, Ranariddh enrolled in the law school of the University of Provence (now part of Aix-Marseille University). He obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1968 and 1969 respectively, specialising in public law. After completing his master's, Ranariddh took the PhD qualifying examinations in 1969. He returned to Cambodia in January 1970, and worked briefly as a secretary at the Interior Ministry. When Lon Nol staged a successful coup against Sihanouk in March 1970, Ranariddh was dismissed from his job and fled into the jungle where he was a close associate of resistance leaders.
In 1971, Ranariddh was captured, along with several members of the royal family, and was held in prison for six months before being released. He was rearrested the following year, and spent a further three months in detention. In 1973, Ranariddh returned to the University of Provence, where he completed his PhD in 1975. Between 1976 and 1979, he worked as a research fellow at the CNRS, and was awarded a diploma of higher studies in air transport. In 1979 Ranariddh went back to the University of Provence as an associate professor, teaching courses in constitutional law and political sociology.
Ranariddh spoke Khmer, French and English fluently. He also held dual Cambodian and French citizenship, having obtained the latter in 1979. He enjoyed listening to music and watching films, though in a 2001 interview he described himself as lacking the artistic talent which Sihanouk possessed. In 2002, Ranariddh produced and directed a 90-minute film, titled Raja Bori, which was shot at Angkor Wat.
On 28 November 2021, Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith announced that Ranariddh had died at the age of 77 in France.
Ranariddh had 12 half-siblings from his father by different wives; Norodom Buppha Devi is his only full-sibling. Buppha Devi became a ballet dancer, like her mother Phat Kanhol had been during her younger days. Kanhol remarried in 1947 to a military officer, Chap Huot, and had five children with him. Phat Kanhol died from cancer in February 1969 at the age of 49, while Chap Huot was killed in an explosion a year later. Four of Ranariddh's half-siblings by his mother and Chap Huot were killed during the Khmer Rouge years, while one of them, Chap Nhalyvoud, survived. Chap Nhalyvoud served as the governor of Siem Reap Province between 1998 and 2004.
Ranariddh met his first wife, Eng Marie, in early 1968. Marie was the eldest child of Eng Meas, an Interior Ministry official of Sino-Khmer descent, and Sarah Hay, a Muslim of Cham ethnicity. Marie had nine younger siblings, and among them was Roland Eng, the former ambassador to Thailand and the United States. The couple married in September 1968 at the royal palace, and had three children: Chakravuth (born 1970), Sihariddh (born 1972) and Rattana Devi (born 1974).
The couple separated, and Marie filed for divorce in March 2006 when Ranariddh's relationship with Ouk Phalla became known. The divorce was not finalised until June 2010. Ranariddh had two sons with Ouk Phalla: Sothearidh (born 2003) and Ranavong (born 2011). Phalla was a descendant of King Sisowath and was a classical dancer. She met Ranariddh when the latter was producing and directing the film Raja Bori.
On 17 June 2018, Ranariddh and Ouk Phalla were both seriously injured in a car accident en route to Sihanoukville Province. Ouk Phalla died hours later as a result of her injuries. In 2019, Ranariddh went to Paris to receive medical treatment for a broken pelvis.
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