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Norodom Chakrapong

Date of Birth October 21, 1945
Age 76 years
Place of Birth Phnom Penh
Country Cambodia
Official Title Prince of Cambodia (អ្នកអង្គម្ចាស់ក្សត្)

Norodom Chakrapong Biography

Norodom Chakrapong (Khmer: នរោត្តម ចក្រាពង្) is a Cambodian politician, businessman and former major-general of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. He is the fourth son of Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and also a half-brother of the current king, Norodom Sihamoni. Chakrapong started his career as a military pilot in 1963. After Sihanouk was overthrown in 1970, Chakrapong spent time under house arrest, then in Beijing as the Head of Protocol of then-Prince Sihanouk, afterwards living overseas before he joined the Funcinpec in 1981 and fought against Vietnamese occupation as a commander of the Armée Nationale Sihanoukiste. In 1991, Chakrapong left Funcinpec to join the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia between 1992 and 1993. When the CPP lost the 1993 general elections, Chakrapong led a secession attempt in 1993. In 1994, he was accused of joining a failed coup attempt (which he denied) which led him to be sent into exile. After Chakrapong was pardoned in 1998, he founded a private airline company, Royal Phnom Penh Airways. The airlines later stopped all operations in early 2006. He then founded Soteria Capital. Norodom Chakrapong's net worth is estimated to be $6.9 billion, a result of his connections in the royal family and his equity in Soteria.

In 2002, Chakrapong established a royalist party, the Khmer Soul Party. When the Khmer Soul Party failed to win a single parliamentary seat in the 2003 general elections, Charkapong rejoined Funcinpec and briefly served as Senator in 2005. In 2006, Chakrapong was expelled from Funcinpec and joined the Norodom Ranariddh Party. When the Cambodian government pursued legal investigations on the debts Chakrapong accumulated from his airlines, Chakrapong quit politics in 2007. Chakrapong, who was already a privy councillor to the Supreme Privy Council, then dedicated himself to humanitarian work and supporting royal activities. In 2013, Chakrapong was appointed member of the Constitutional Council of Cambodia by the King.

  Norodom Charkrapong
Prince Norodom Chakrapong with Prime Minister Hun Sen

Chakrapong's mother, Sisowath Pongsanmoni, was the younger half-sister of Sisowath Kossamak. Kossamak is the mother of Sihanouk, and both Pongsanmoni and Kossamak had the same father, Sisowath Monivong. Pongsanmoni died in 1974. Chakrapong has six full siblings, consisting of three brothers (Yuvaneath, Racvivong and Khemanourak) and three younger sisters (Sorya Roeungsi, Kantha Bopha and Botum Bopha). Khemanourak, Sorya Roeungsi and Botum Bopha were killed by the Khmer Rouge, while Racvivong and Kantha Bopha died young of illness. Yuvaneath is Chakrapong's sole surviving full sibling, and Chakrapong has six other half-siblings by Sihanouk's unions with different wives.