Senate Election Law Passed

The National Assembly on Tuesday approved a new Proposed Law on Election of Senate Members, shortening the election campaign for the upper house to just two weeks.

The new law, which replaces the 2005 Law on Senate Elections, also adds one more senator, taking the total to 62. The additional senator is necessary as Preah Sihanouk province will get two additional seats in the National Assembly during next year’s national election, increasing the Assembly to 125 seats.

CPP lawmakers leave the Senate chamber after stripping the legal immunity of opposition Senator Thak Lany. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

The number of Senate seats are half those in the Assembly.

The senate campaign period for the January 14, 2018, election will now last just two weeks instead of three. Ninety-seven of 108 lawmakers present at the session voted for the new law, according to a news release from the assembly’s secretariat.

Two notable absentees were Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition CNRP President Kem Sokha. Senior opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said he supported the law “but it needs some explanation.”

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