The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly has picked two candidates to fill vacant positions in the Senate, with a Funcinpec spokesman saying on Tuesday they are expected to go to his party.
Four of the 62 members of the Senate are selected outside of the normal vote, which took place in February, with the King and the Assembly selecting two candidates each. In the February elections, which were open only to elected members of government, the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party swept all 58 seats on offer.
National Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said that out of 12 candidates, the Permanent Committee had selected two nominees, with the body expected to hold a plenary session next Monday to vote them in as senators.
However, Funcinpec spokesman Nheb Bun Chhin said the party had submitted two candidates to the Permanent Committee and that it was likely they would be the final nominees.
“We need to have great hope because 12 candidates filed the applications, but most of them withdrew their applications and there were about three to four candidates left, but they have not met the requirements,” he said.
Despite commandeering the vast majority of local-level positions, as well as a handful of extra assembly seats, the ruling party has attempted to maintain the semblance of a multi-party democracy since November’s forced dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which was seen as the only legitimate competitor to the CPP in this year’s national election.