Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that Cambodia’s Senate election for the fifth legislative term is set for February 25, 2024.

Phay Siphan, a government spokesman, told The Post that the decision making falls under the government’s jurisdiction. He said conducting this election would pose no major challenges for Cambodia.

“This election differs significantly from parliamentary ones,” he said.

Siphan continued: “Since it only involves commune, town, and district councils. The general populace doesn’t participate in the process, and unlike most elections, this one won’t see a large number of political parties contesting”.

Som Sorida, deputy secretary-general of the National Election Committee (NEC) confirmed the date and that the NEC was prepared for the upcoming event.

As per the Law on Organization and Election of Members of the Senate, the election date must be announced upon request by the Ministry of Interior.

Once the government has made the final decision, the NEC secretariat will spring into action.

Sorida said: “We will devise a master plan, prepare an electoral calendar, gather required materials, and arrange funds for the election process”.

Sorida added: “We are well prepared for this election. We have simply been waiting for the government to confirm the date. The electoral work is not difficult as it falls under the professional purview of the NEC”.

Sam Kuntheamy, the executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), explained the distinctive nature of this election.

He stated that setting a date for the Senate election is part of the Prime Minister’s duties during the Senate’s current sixth mandate.

Unlike parliamentary elections, this election is non-universal and engages members of commune councils and parliamentarians as voters, excluding ordinary citizens.

“The NEC faces no difficulty with this election,” Kuntheamy said.

“The voter numbers are limited, and political parties are aware in advance. Voters consist of members of commune councils and parliamentarians, reducing any complexities”.