In Tam
In Tam was a former Prime Minister of Cambodia
Prime Minister of Cambodia
The Prime Minister of Cambodia , is the head of government of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Prime Minister is appointed by the King under Article 119 of the Constitution and is responsible for leading the government of the Kingdom.-Constitutional powers:The powers of the Prime Minister are established...

. He served in that position from May 6, 1973 to December 9 1973, and had a long career in Cambodian politics.

Political career

In Tam was born in Prek Kak village in Stung Treng district, Kampong Cham Province, in eastern Cambodia. As a child he studied Pali
- External links :* *...

 at Stung Treng Pagoda, before going on to study at the Lycee Sisowath
Lycee Sisowath
Lycée Preah Sisowath is a secondary school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The school was founded in 1873 as a collège and became a lycée in 1933.-History:...

. After serving as an inspector of the provincial militia, he eventually reached the rank of Brevet
Brevet (military)
In many of the world's military establishments, brevet referred to a warrant authorizing a commissioned officer to hold a higher rank temporarily, but usually without receiving the pay of that higher rank except when actually serving in that role. An officer so promoted may be referred to as being...

-General and rose to the position of governor of Takeo Province.

During the 1960s Tam served in several posts in the Sangkum
The Sangkum Reastr Niyum , commonly known simply as the Sangkum, was a political organisation set up in 1955 by Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia...

 government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

, most notably as interior minister
Interior minister
An interior ministry is a government ministry typically responsible for policing, national security, and immigration matters. The ministry is often headed by a minister of the interior or minister of home affairs...

 from 1964 to 1966.

He was involved in the arrest of his own nephew Preap In
Preap In
Preap In was a Cambodian political dissident of the 1950s - 1960s.A high-level cadre of the Khmer Serei, a rightist militia formed to oppose the regime of Prince Norodom Sihanouk, In is remembered largely for an unsuccessful 1963 attempt to 'negotiate' directly with Sihanouk, resulting in his...

, who was accused of membership of an anti-Sihanouk, rightist guerrilla organisation, the Khmer Serei
Khmer Serei
The Khmer Serei, or "Free Khmer", were an anti-communist and anti-monarchist guerrilla force founded by Cambodian nationalist Son Ngoc Thanh.-Origin:...

; Preap In was later executed. Despite his former loyalty to Sihanouk, however, In Tam was one of the main figures behind the Cambodian coup of 1970
Cambodian coup of 1970
The Cambodian coup of 1970 refers to the removal of the Cambodian Head of State, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, after a vote in the National Assembly on 18 March 1970. Emergency powers were subsequently invoked by the Prime Minister Lon Nol, who became effective head of state...

, with the vote to remove Sihanouk from power taking place under his direction. As President of the National Assembly, In Tam personally proclaimed the Khmer Republic in October 1970.

After 1970, Tam came into increasing conflict with the coup's leader, Lon Nol
Lon Nol
Lon Nol was a Cambodian politician and general who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia twice, as well as serving repeatedly as Defense Minister...

. The latter took action in October 1971 to strip the National Assembly of its legislative powers, citing a growing state of emergency in the Cambodian Civil War
Cambodian Civil War
The Cambodian Civil War was a conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Cong against the government forces of Cambodia , which were supported by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam The Cambodian...

: this provoked a protest by Tam and 400 monks.

In 1972, Tam ran in presidential elections
Cambodian presidential election, 1972
Presidential elections were held for the first, and to date only time in Cambodia on 4 June 1972, following the toppling of the monarchy and the declaration of the Khmer Republic in the 1970 coup. The result was a victory for Lon Nol, who won 54.9% of the vote. Voter turnout was 57.6%.-Results:...

 against Lon Nol and Keo An. A United States National Security Council
United States National Security Council
The White House National Security Council in the United States is the principal forum used by the President of the United States for considering national security and foreign policy matters with his senior national security advisors and Cabinet officials and is part of the Executive Office of the...

 report judged Tam to be the among the most experienced and politically mature of Cambodian politicians at the time, with a deserved reputation for incorruptibility and a modest lifestyle. He came in second place behind Lon Nol, receiving 24% of the vote: it was widely believed that if the elections had been fairly conducted In Tam would in fact have won outright, and despite manipulation of the vote still managed to win in the capital, Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

. Along with Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak
Sisowath Sirik Matak
Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak was a member of the Cambodian royal family, the Varman dynasty.Sirik Matak was mainly notable for his involvement in Cambodian politics, particularly for his involvement in the 1970 right-wing coup against his cousin, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, and for his subsequent...

's Republican Party, Tam's Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Cambodia)
The Cambodian Democratic Party was a left-leaning, pro-independence political party formed in 1946 by Prince Sisowath Yuthevong, who had previously been a member of the French Section of the Workers' International....

 refused to contest the parliamentary elections later that year in protest at rules that they saw as favouring the Socio-Republican Party of Lon Nol and his brother Lon Non
Lon Non
Lon Non was a Cambodian politician and soldier who rose to his greatest prominence during the Khmer Republic .Non was the younger brother of Prime Minister Lon Nol...


The following year, In Tam served as prime minister for seven months in Lon Nol's government, and was later put in charge of a programme designed to encourage communist cadres to defect to the government side, only to later ‘retire’ from politics and live with his family and supporters in Battambang
Battambang is the capital city of Battambang province in northwestern Cambodia.Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia with a population of over 250,000. Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country...

. He was succeeded as Prime Minister by Long Boret
Long Boret
Long Boret or Long Boreth was a Cambodian politician who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia from December 26, 1973 to April 17, 1975. Highly regarded for his honesty, he tried unsuccessfully to negotiate a peace settlement with the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian Civil War...


When the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 gained control of Cambodia in April 1975, In Tam was at his farm in Poipet
Poipet is a Cambodian town on the Cambodia/Thailand border, in Ou Chrov district, Banteay Meanchey Province. It is a key crossing point between the two countries, and also extremely popular as a gambling destination as gambling is popular, but illegal in Thailand...

. He almost certainly would have been executed, but he fled to Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 and attempted to organise a rebellion against the Khmer Rouge in the border areas. This did not last long, however, as the Thai authorities deported him. He went to France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and then in 1976 moved to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 where he received asylum.

In exile

Following the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge, In Tam supported Norodom Sihanouk, and his FUNCINPEC
FUNCINPEC is a royalist political party in Cambodia. Before the 2008 election, FUNCINPEC and the Cambodian People's Party formed a coalition government, although FUNCINPEC's significance has decreased steadily since 1998, when it had an equal relationship with the CPP in the coalition.FUNCINPEC is...

 organisation, against the Vietnamese-backed government; he was the commander-in-chief of FUNCINPEC's military wing, the MOULINAKA
The MOULINAKA was a pro-Sihanouk military organization formed in August 1979 by an armed group on the Thai-Cambodian border.-History:...

, later known as the Armée Nationale Sihanoukiste, until his replacement by Prince Norodom Ranariddh
Norodom Ranariddh
Prince Norodom Ranariddh is the second son of former king Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and a half brother of the current king, Norodom Sihamoni.-Biography:...

 in 1985. He was one of three ministers of National Defense of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea
Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea
The Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea was a coalition government in exile composed of three Cambodian political factions: Prince Norodom Sihanouk's Funcinpec party, the Party of Democratic Kampuchea and the Khmer People's National Liberation Front formed in 1982, broadening the de...

. He refounded the Cambodian Democratic Party
Democratic Party (Cambodia)
The Cambodian Democratic Party was a left-leaning, pro-independence political party formed in 1946 by Prince Sisowath Yuthevong, who had previously been a member of the French Section of the Workers' International....

, which failed to win seats in Parliament in the 1993 elections. In 1997 he made an alliance with the Cambodian People's Party
Cambodian People's Party
The Cambodian People's Party is the current ruling party of Cambodia.This party was formerly known as Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party...


In Tam died in Chandler, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona
-Demographics:As of the Census of 2010, there were 236,123 people, 86,924 households, and 60,212 families residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 73.3% White, 4.8% Black or African American, 1.5% Native American, 8.2% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 21.9% Hispanic or Latino, and 8.3%...

in the southwestern United States.
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