The Fifth Senate Election Is Underway in a Calm and Peaceful Way

The member of council cast their votes at the third regional constituency in Kandal province. Photo: Soy Rathanakvisal

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia has kicked off the fifth Senate Election in the early morning of Feb. 25, with a total of 11, 747 voters expected to cast their votes in eight regional constituencies at 33 polling stations. The result is expected to be announced toward the end of election day.

Four political parties are registered in the election: the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the Funcinpec Party, the Khmer Will Party, and the Nation Power Party. Among the voters, 1,622 are members of commune/sangkat councils and 125 are members of the National Assembly.

While there are 62 seats in the Senate, the vote is being held for 58 seats only as two senators are appointed by King Norodom Sihamoni, and two others are elected by the National Assembly by a simple majority.

The CPP is presenting 112 candidates for the 58 seats to be filled. Those candidates include former Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and Secretary of State of the National Defense Ministry Neang Phat. Tycoons Kok An, Mong Reththy, and Ly Yong Phat are also running in the election.

The election has so far been conducted with no irregularities, the National Election Committee (NEC) spokesperson Hang Putea said in the morning of Feb. 25, adding that many observers were at the polling stations. Numerous elderly voters were seen casting their votes at the polling stations and constituencies.

For this 2024 Senate Election, 760 national observers and 30 international observers from Chinese associations in Cambodia have watched the election process along with three special guests from Japan. Moreover, 306 members of the press in the country and 25 members of the international press have been covering the election.

Former Candlelight Party (CP) Vice-President Rong Chhun, now an advisor to the Nation Power Party (NPP), observed the vote in Kandal province, which is the third regional constituency and where former Prime Minister Hun Sen cast his vote.

Chhun reported in the morning of Feb. 25 that the voting process was taking place normally and peacefully. While this is not a general election, he said, it still is significant since the Senate is the upper house of the Parliament of Cambodia.

“Ordinary citizens do not take part in this election,” he said. “That’s why the process seems quiet.”

NEC spokesperson Hang Putea said that vote counting would begin at 3 p.m. on voting day (Feb. 25) and that the results are expected to be announced at 7 pm.

The elected senators will serve a 6-year term.

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