Throne Council To Convene to Elect New King

For the first time since it was established under the 1993 Con­stitution, the Royal Council of the Throne will convene today to select a successor to King Noro­dom Sihanouk, government officials confirmed Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Senate Pre­sident Chea Sim, the acting Head of State, sent invitations to the Throne Council members to hold the vote at the Royal Palace at

4 pm, said Chea Sim’s Cabinet chief, Chea Son.

At least six of the nine Throne Council members have indicated their support for Prince Norodom Sihamoni to become Cambodia’s next reigning monarch. Only a  simple majority required to elect him to the throne.

As stipulated under the Consti­tu­tion, the Council includes the prime minister, the top three mem­bers of the National Assem­bly and Senate, and the country’s two highest Buddhist leaders.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and Assembly President Prince Noro­dom Ranariddh have voiced their support for Prince Sihamoni in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, Supreme Patri­arch Bou Kry also expressed his backing of the 51-year-old son of King Sihanouk and Queen Noro­dom Monineath, saying he has so far been the only candidate nominated for the position.

Contacted this week, Heng Samrin, first deputy president of the Assembly; Prince Sisowath Chivan Monirak, the first deputy of the Senate; and Pou Buntreu, the Senate’s second deputy president, also said they supported Prince Sihamoni as the next king.

“He has a lot of advantages. He isn’t involved in politics…and is very gentle, so when he becomes the king, people will respect him,” Heng Samrin said Wednesday.

Regardless of the outcome of today’s Council session, Prince Chivan Monirak said Monday that it will ensure the continuation of the monarchy and social stability.

Whether the new king hails from the “Sisowath or Norodom [royal families] is not important. What is important is that Cambo­dia and the people have security and can reduce the poverty,” he said.

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