According to every news agency in the world, Angelina Jolie has just been made a Cambodian citizen. She was awarded this honor via “a royal decree giving her Cambodian citizenship.”
According to the Cambodian Constitution of 1993, the status of the King is basically:
The King of Cambodia shall reign but shall not govern.
It goes on to list the various duties of the King, but they all basically come down to issuing proclamations that have been pre-approved by the Assembly. The King is granted no power to make any decisions on his own, not even to appoint his own heir.
How are normal people like us, who aren’t important enough to have special acts and royal proclamations made in our name, treated by Cambodia’s citizenship law?
CAMBODIA (Formerly Kampuchea)
CITIZENSHIP: Citizenship is based upon Decree No. 913-NS, of November 20, 1954, and Law
No. 904-NS, dated September 27, 1954.
BY BIRTH: Birth within the territory of Cambodia does not automatically confer citizenship.
Two exceptions are these:
Child born in Cambodia, of non-citizen parents who were also born in Cambodia.
Child of unknown parents found in Cambodian territory.
BY DESCENT: Legitimate child of a Cambodian mother or father, regardless of the country of
birth. (According to Cambodian law, “legitimate” refers to the child being formally
acknowledged by either of its parents.)
A foreign wife of a Cambodian citizen is eligible for citizenship upon the date of the
A foreign husband of a Cambodian citizen must fulfill all naturalization requirements, but
need reside only for two years.
BY NATURALIZATION: Cambodian citizenship may be acquired upon fulfillment of the
following conditions: Person has resided for at least five years in the country, knows the
language and culture, has a steady means of support, and is of good moral character.
DUAL CITIZENSHIP: NOT RECOGNIZED.
Exception: A Cambodian wife of a foreign national is permitted to retain her Cambodian
citizenship unless required to renounce it by the laws of the husband’s home country.
Hmmm. Article 49 of the constitution says
All Khmer citizens shall have the duty to take part in the national reconstruction and to defend the homeland. The duty to defend the country shall be determined by law.
And Cambodia doesn’t recognize dual citizenship. If Cambodia gets in another war, you better watch out Angelina or they might just draft you.