Heng Samrin (Khmer: ហេង សំរិន; born 25 May 1934) is a Cambodian politician who serves as the President of the National Assembly of Cambodia. Between 1979 and 1992, he was the de facto leader of the Hanoi-backed People's Republic of Kampuchea (1979–1989) and State of Cambodia (1989–1992) and General Secretary of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party from 1981 to 1991.

Heng Samrin
ហេង សំរិន
Samdech Heng Samrin 2018 cropped.jpg
Samrin in 2018
President of the National Assembly
Assumed office
21 March 2006
MonarchNorodom Sihamoni
Vice PresidentCheam Yeab
Khuon Sodary
Nguon Nhel
Say Chhum
Kem Sokha
You Hockry
Preceded byNorodom Ranariddh
Additional positions
General Secretary of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party
In office
5 December 1981 – 17 October 1991
Preceded byPen Sovan
Succeeded byChea Sim
as President
President of the Council of State
Chairman of the People's Revolutionary Council until 27 June 1981
In office
10 January 1979 – 6 April 1992
Prime MinisterPen Sovan
Chan Sy
Hun Sen
Preceded byKhieu Samphan
as Chairman of the State Presidium
Succeeded byChea Sim
Member of the National Assembly
Assumed office
14 June 1993
ConstituencyKandal (1993–1998)
Kampong Cham (1998–2018)
Tbong Khmum (2018–present)
Personal details
Born (1934-05-25) 25 May 1934 (age 89)
Ponhea Kraek District, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia, French Indochina
(now in Tboung Khmum Province)
Political partyCambodian People's Party
SpouseSao Ty
Military service
Allegiance Cambodia
Branch/serviceRoyal Cambodian Army
RankFive-Star General[1][2]

He has been a member of Parliament since 1993. He is the oldest member of parliament, and the longest-serving president of the National Assembly in history. His honorary title is "Samdech Akka Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin" (Khmer: សម្តេចអគ្គមហាពញាចក្រី ហេង សំរិន).

Life and careerEdit

Heng Samrin was born in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia, in 1934. He joined the Khmer Rouge communist movement led by Pol Pot, and became a political commissar and army division commander when the Khmer Rouge, backed by China, took over the government in 1975. In 1978, after a series of violent purges within the Khmer Rouge leadership in which many prominent cadre members whom Pol Pot felt might be rivals were executed, he fled to Vietnam.[3]

In Vietnam he was one of the founding members of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation (FUNSK). Later that year, Heng returned to Cambodia and organized a resistance movement with the backing and support of 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.[4] 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 lost much of his political power when Hun Sen became Prime Minister of Cambodia in 1985.

As Vietnamese influence declined, Samrin gradually lost 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, Samrin 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 has acted as Chairman of the Solidarity Front for Development of the Cambodian Motherland.

The Cambodian People's Party recently released a book about Samrin called A Man of the People,[5] dedicated to him as a hero.[6] According to that book, among supporters of the ruling CPP Heng Samrin is a "much loved and respected figure", even though his recent duties are often largely ceremonial.[7] His full title is Samdach Akeak Moha Ponhea Chakrei Heng Samrin, Protean Radhsaphea ney Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea (Khmer: សម្តេចអគ្គមហាពញាចក្រី ហេង សំរិន ប្រធានរដ្ឋសភា នៃព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ROYAL LETTER: Sihanouk praises five star leaders".
  2. ^ "Welcome to Cambodian People's Party- CPP News and Information World Wide: His Majesty Promotes Cambodian Leaders to Five-Star General". 27 December 2009.
  3. ^ Jackson, Karl D. (2014). Cambodia, 1975-1978: Rendezvous with Death. Princeton University Press. p. 206. ISBN 9781400851706. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  4. ^ Heller, H (2007). "Cambodia: Modern History". In Marshall Cavendish (ed.). World and Its peoples: Eastern and Southern Asia. Vol. 6. p. 765.
  5. ^ Heng Samrin, A Man of the People.
  6. ^ Hunt, Luke. "Heng Samrin, Man of the People". Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  7. ^ Hunt, Luke. "Heng Samrin, Man of the People". The Diplomate. Retrieved 1 June 2012.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Khieu Samphan
President of the State Presidium
Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea
Succeeded by
Chairman of the State Council
Preceded by
Chairman of the Revolutionary Council
Chairman of the State Council of Cambodia
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the National Assembly of Cambodia
Party political offices
Preceded by General Secretary of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party
Succeeded by
Chea Sim
President of the People's Party