Norodom Ranariddh

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Phnom Penh,
Birth Sign
Phnom Penh,

Prince and politician from Cambodia are Norodom Ranariddh. Politics was not his first love, despite the fact that he has been involved in it for more than three decades. When he was a little boy, he wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but his grandmother, the Queen of Cambodia, persuaded him that he should instead seek a career in law. Although his heart wasn’t in it, he eventually earned a Ph.D. in law. He worked at the CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) for a while before leaving to teach sociology and constitutional law at the University of Provence, his alma mater. He ultimately quit his job as a teacher to go into politics. It was difficult to be a politician while being a member of the royal family of Cambodia. His most difficult moments were in the early 1990s. When Hun Sen alleged voter fraud during the 1993 election, he was appointed co-prime minister alongside Sen. King Sihanouk decided to take over as ruler and appoint Hun Sen and Ranariddh to the positions of prime minister. With the two sides exchanging military blows during the 1998 election, this partnership ultimately turned out to be little more than a protracted power struggle. Despite ongoing hardship, he has managed to remain a key player in Cambodian politics, which culminated in his reinstating as president of FUNCINPEC in early 2015.

Early Childhood & Life

On January 2, 1944, Norodom Ranariddh was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He is Norodom Sihanouk’s (a previous monarch of Cambodia) son.
He attended Lycee Descartes and Norodom School in Phnom Penh for his early education. In 1958, he and his half-brother Norodom Chakrapong traveled to Marseille for boarding school.

He completed his secondary school studies in 1961 and participated in the University of Paris’s undergraduate law program. In 1962, he went back to Marseille because he was unable to handle the Parisian way of life.

He enrolled in the University of Provence’s law school and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the subject in 1968 and 1969, respectively.
In 1974, he earned his Ph.D. from the University of Provence.

Norodom Ranariddh’s Career

Norodom Ranariddh was hired by the interior ministry in 1969. When General Lon Nol overthrew Prince Norodom Sihanouk in 1970 and Ranariddh had to flee to avoid political prosecution, he was sacked from his position.
He was hired as a research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research in 1976, two years after completing his Ph.D. (CRNS). In 1979, he quit this profession to pursue a career in teaching.

Soon after leaving CRNS, he went back to his alma university, the University of Provence. He was an associate professor when he departed in 1983 and taught constitutional law and political sociology courses there.
In 1983, Ranariddh joined the FUNCINPEC party in Cambodia, which stands for “National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia.”

He was appointed inspector general of the ANS, the party’s army, in 1985. He received a promotion to ANS commander-in-chief the next year.
He continued his ascent within the FUNCINPEC party in 1989 by being named Secretary General.
He was finally elected to lead the FUNCINPEC party in 1992.

1993’s general election in Cambodia was mired with controversy. Ranariddh initially had no intention of running, but other FUNCINPEC members were able to change their minds after some attacks on rural party offices.

The FUNCINPEC party gained 58 of the 120 seats in the Cambodian parliament in May 1993. Due to charges of vote fraud, the opposition Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), led by Hun Sen and Chea Sim, vowed to break away from Cambodia. King Sihanouk responded to this by becoming involved. Ranaridd and Hun Sen were appointed as the first and second prime ministers, respectively, and he anointed himself as king of Cambodia.

Up until 1996, relations between Ranariddh and Hun Sen were cordial. However, Ranariddh was dissatisfied with Hun Sen because he saw Hun Sen to have greater authority while having a lower position.

Ranariddh was discovered in 1997 attempting to covertly import heavy weaponry to arm his men against the CPP. Later that year, when hostilities between the two parties grew worse, he was banished to Bangkok.
He received a total term of 29 years in jail after being found guilty of importing weapons in 1998. King Norodom Sihanouk, who also stood up for him when he was banished, pardoned him.

He returned to Cambodia when FUNCINPEC and the CPP reached an agreement in November 1998. He was chosen to serve as the National Assembly’s chairman.

He left the political scene in Cambodia in 2006 over the treatment of FUNCINPEC party members during the previous eight years. In order to avoid being imprisoned on charges of embezzlement, he moved from Cambodia to France and then applied for asylum there in 2007.
He rejoined the FUNCINPEC party in January 2015 and was elected to serve as party leader once more.

Norodom’s Bigger Works

The Cambodian Development Council was established by Norodom Ranariddh in 1994. He gave his approval to 17 infrastructure development projects over the course of six months. Through foreign investment, his assertive economic policies aided in the development of the nation.

The early 2000s saw years of political unrest in Ranariddh. In 2006 and 2014, he founded the Norodom Ranariddh Party and the Community of Royalist People’s Party, respectively. These were essential because they demonstrated his commitment to overthrowing the current system democratically.

Recognition & Achievements

He received the regal title of Senior Prince in 1993. He received the Grand Officer de l’Ordre de la Pleaide in 2000 from the La Francophonie, a global association of nations and regions where French is the mother tongue or official language.

He received the Grand Order of National Merit and the Order of Sovatara with the Mohasereivadh class in 2001.

Personal Legacy & Life

In 1968, Ranariddh wed Eng Marie. Three kids—Chakravuth, Sihariddh, and Rattana Devi—were born to the couple.
When it was discovered that Ranariddh had been having an extended relationship with Ouk Phalla and had two children with her, namely Sothearidh and Ranavong, the marriage between Ranariddh and Eng Marie ended in divorce in 2010. Ranariddh married Ouk Phalla in the same year.

Estimated Net Worth

Norodom is one of the wealthiest and most well-liked politicians. According to our research, Norodom Ranariddh has a net worth of $5 million, as reported by Forbes, Wikipedia, and Business Insider.