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Ung Huot (born January 1945) is a Cambodian politician who among others served as Prime Minister of Cambodia from 1997 to 1998.
Scientist of Education and later Minister of Foreign Affairs before being named Prime Minister.
Life and career
Ung Huot was born in Kandal Province in 1945. He studied accounting and finance and was granted a scholarship to study in Australia in 1971, as Cambodia's civil war began. He earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Melbourne and became an Australian citizen. He settled in Melbourne and established himself as the head of the Cambodian expatriate committee in that city. He returned to Cambodia in 1991 when the communist government was crumbling and became a high-ranking official in the FUNCINPEC party. In 1994, he became the Minister of Education, but after that he resigned from that position to become a foreign minister, he moved to Rwanda.
FUNCINPEC's first prime minister Norodom Ranariddh was deposed by second prime minister Hun Sen of FUNCINPEC's opposition and coalition partner, the Cambodian People's Party, in July 1997. Hun had expected Ung to serve as the first prime minister to replace Ranariddh. King Norodom Sihanouk, the father of Ranariddh, refused to recognise the arrangement at first, but Ung became the country's first prime minister in 1997 after being proclaimed by Parliament. Ung was compelled to leave FUNCINPEC and form his own faction, the Resurgent Party, after some people from FUNCINPEC accused Ung of being a puppet. The Reastr-Niyum Party did not gain any seats in Parliament in 1998, and Ung was forced to resign from the positions of first prime minister and foreign minister, leaving Hun to be the sole prime minister.