Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chea Sim elected for third term

Chea Sim elected for third term

Chea Sim elected for third term

120326_03

Despite a rocky year plagued by a fraud scandal that placed five former aides behind bars, Chea Sim, president of the Cambodian Peoples’ Party, was unanimously elected as president of the Senate for a third term on Saturday.

{jathumbnail}

The 80-year-old was the only candidate put forward to the position and, along with two newly elected CPP deputies, will constitute the leadership of the Senate for the next six years.

Speaking on the occasion, King Sihamoni said the Third Mandate of the Senate was geared toward the “enhancement of democratisation of society and to protect the common interests of all classes”.

However, opposition Sam Rainsy Party senator Kong Korm alleged there had been no democratic planning of the third mandate elections.

Kong Korm, who ran for one of the deputy chairman positions and lost, said yesterday that it was usual procedure for a meeting between all senators to take place to discuss the leadership structure of the senate before elections took place.

“But before this election, SRP senators were not invited to a meeting with CPP senators to discuss structure,” Kong Korm said.

Koul Panha executive director of election monitoring organisation Comfrel, said there should be a power share structure in the senate.

“Simply voting is not right, because the ruling party can always dominate the outcome,” Koul Panha said, adding that Chea Sim’s advanced age and questionable health was not a political issue.

The octogenarian politician, who defected from the Khmer Rouge after 1975 to the Vietnamese-backed liberation forces, has served in the Cambodian parliament since the overthrow of Democratic Kampuchea.

He initially served as interior minister and later president of the National Assembly, and briefly assumed the role of head of state during then-King Sihanouk’s absence.

Scandal rocked his office last year when four of his top advisors were tossed in jail after being convicted of operating a vast investor scam.

Chhoeun Chanthan, chief of Chea Sim’s bodyguard unit, was also put behind bars on charges including possessing illegal weapons and forging public documents.

To contact the reporters on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]
Meas Sokchea at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • China-Cambodia tourism forum held

    The Cambodian tourism sector must be prepared to welcome a growing number of Chinese tourists, as they lead the globe in the number of outbound travellers and were responsible for the most visitors to the Kingdom last year, the country’s tourism minister said on