Kem Sokha

Kem Sokha
Kem Sokha addressing party members in 2016.
Vice President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party
Assumed office
17 July 2012
President Sam Rainsy
Preceded by Position established
Minority Leader of the National Assembly
Assumed office
16 November 2015
Prime Minister Hun Sen
Preceded by Sam Rainsy
First Vice President of the National Assembly
In office
26 August 2014  30 October 2015
President Heng Samrin
Preceded by Nguon Nhel
Succeeded by Vacant
Member of Parliament
for Kampong Cham
Assumed office
27 July 2008
Majority 81,637 (9.11%)
Member of Parliament
for Kandal
In office
28 May 1993  26 July 1998
President of the Human Rights Party
In office
22 July 2007  17 July 2012
Vice President Son Soubert
Pen Sovan
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Son Soubert
Member of the Senate
In office
Preceded by Seat established
Succeeded by Chhim Siek Leng
Personal details
Born (1953-06-27) 27 June 1953
Tram Kak, Takéo, Cambodia
Political party Cambodia National Rescue Party
Other political
Human Rights Party (2007–12)
Independent (2002–07)
FUNCINPEC (1999–2002)
Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party (1993–99)
Spouse(s) Te Chanmono (m. 1980)
Children Kem Monovithya
Kem Samathida
Alma mater University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague (M.S.)
Royal University of Law and Economics (LL.M)
Profession Activist
Religion Theravada Buddhism
Website Kem Sokha

Kem Sokha (Khmer: កឹម សុខា; born 27 June 1953) is a Cambodian politician and activist who currently serves as the Vice President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). In this capacity, he also serves as the acting Minority Leader of the National Assembly following Sam Rainsy's impeachment. He served as the First Vice President of the National Assembly of Cambodia from August 2014 to October 2015.[1][2] He represents Kampong Cham as its Member of Parliament (MP). From 2007 to 2012, Sokha was the leader of the Human Rights Party, which he founded.


Kem Sokha has a Master of Science in Biochemistry from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, Czech Republic and a law degree from the Royal University of Law and Economics, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Political career

Sokha and his colleagues meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry and Ambassador William A. Heidt in Phnom Penh on 26 January 2016.

His political career began in 1993, when he was elected a representative for Kandal; at that time he was a member of Son Sann's Buddhist Liberal Democratic Party. In 1999, he joined the royalist FUNCINPEC and subsequently elected a senator. He resigned from his Senate seat in 2001. In the 2008 elections, the Human Rights Party gained three seats in the National Assembly.

Kem Sokha is well known for his weekly town hall meetings at local level throughout the country. He was the first to introduce a free and open forum discussing issues concerning civic and political rights, as well as social and economic development, at village level in Cambodia. Kem Sokha is known for his non-violent, political tolerant policy standing on democratic and unity principles. His words are often quoted and repeated by ordinary Cambodians. His phrase "Do Min Do" (literal translation to English: "Change or no change") became the anthem for the Cambodia National Rescue Party's election Campaign in July 2013, which drew an unprecedented amount of youth participation.

On 26 August 2014, Sokha was elected by the National Assembly as its First Vice President with 116 votes,[1] the first opposition MP to hold the office. On 30 October 2015, he was ousted from the vice presidency by a vote of 68–0 following disagreements with the ruling party.[2] On 9 September 2016, after months under house arrest, Sokha was sentenced to five months in prison after refusing to appear in court for questioning in a prostitution case against him.[3] He was later granted a royal pardon by King Norodom Sihamoni.[4]

See also


External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Nguon Nhel
Vice President of the National Assembly of Cambodia
Succeeded by
New office Member of the Senate
Succeeded by
Chhim Siek Leng
Party political offices
New office Vice President of the Cambodia National Rescue Party
New office President of the Human Rights Party
Succeeded by
Son Soubert
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