Prime Minister Hun Sen agreed to maintain the power distribution between the CPP and its ally Funcinpec in the Senate following Sunday’s Senate election, Funcinpec President Prince Norodom Ranariddh said Tuesday.
Funcinpec will continue to control the second- and third-highest positions in the Senate. And the National Assembly, which may appoint two senators, will grant those positions to Funcinpec members, bringing the total number of Funcinpec senators to 14—the same number of seats the party currently holds.
“Samdech [Hun Sen] said the CPP still respects the agreement between Funcinpec and CPP,” Prince Ranariddh told reporters at Olympic Stadium, where he had been watching a volleyball match.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said he was not aware of the agreement, but noted that the Senate presidency was reserved for Chea Sim.
Prince Ranariddh said a planned reshuffle would likely remove Prince Sisowath Chivan Monirak from his post as first deputy president, replacing him with first-term senator Prince Norodom Chakrapong.
“We have the retired King’s son, my brother and older brother of King Sihamoni…. He was a candidate in Prey Veng [province] and he succeeded,” Prince Ranariddh said, leaving the stadium with Prince Chakrapong by his side.
He did not say why Prince Chivan Monirak, who was also re-elected, would be demoted, but he said that Por Bun Sroeu must remain as second deputy president because he, too, “succeeded” in the indirect elections.
Prince Chivan Monirak could not be reached for comment.
Prince Ranariddh added that the CPP will hold five of the Senate’s nine permanent committees, Funcinpec will control four and Sam Rainsy Party senators may be excluded from the committees altogether.
Sam Rainsy Party Acting President Kong Korm, who currently chairs the senate’s education, religious affairs, culture and tourism committee, called the possible move typical of the ruling coalition.
“It is nothing strange. It is the same as the National Assembly. They don’t want any [opposing] political party to stay in the legislature,” Kong Korm said.
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