Former Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen expected to secure top position in Senate election

Cambodia’s lower house and local councils voted for senators. Former PM Hun Sen, representing the ruling party, is likely to lead. Senate terms are six years; the National Assembly, with more power, has elections every five.

Cambodia’s lower house and local councillors participated in elections to choose senators on Sunday. Former Prime Minister Hun Sen, representing his son’s ruling party, is expected to secure a seat and lead the upper house. Hun Sen stepped down last August after a 38-year tenure, with his son, Hun Manet, succeeding him.

Despite his resignation, Hun Sen remains the leader of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, which holds a majority in the National Assembly. The CPP and three other parties have nominated candidates for the Senate election, with 58 seats decided by National Assembly members and local councillors.

Advertisement

Two seats out of the 62-member Senate will be appointed by the king, and an additional two will be chosen by the lower house. Following a heavily criticized general election in July, where the ruling CPP secured a significant victory, they are anticipated to dominate the Senate. The Khmer Will Party, linked with the disqualified main opposition Candlelight Party, may secure some seats.

Other parties, such as the royalist FUNCINPEC party and the National Power Party, are unlikely to secure many upper house seats.
In the previous Senate election in 2018, the CPP claimed all 58 available seats as no opposition party participated, following the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party.

Hun Sen is anticipated to be elected as Senate president, a position that entails acting as the head of state in the king’s absence from the country. Members of the Senate serve terms lasting six years, while the National Assembly, which holds greater power, undergoes elections every five years.