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CPP takes all Senate committee chairs

Newly-minted senators pose for a photograph with King Norodom Sihamoni last week. The upper house on Monday selected only CPP members to head the body's 10 legislative commissions.
Newly-minted senators pose for a photograph with King Norodom Sihamoni last week. The upper house on Monday selected only CPP members to head the body's 10 legislative commissions. Heng Chivoan

CPP takes all Senate committee chairs

Following its formal opening last week, the Senate on Monday picked chairpersons for its internal committees, with all of these positions going to Cambodian People’s Party senators, who dominate the 62-member upper house.

The February Senate elections saw the CPP win all 58 of the seats up for grabs. The National Assembly then nominated two Funcinpec members to the body, and King Norodom Sihamoni nominated two others who are currently unaffiliated with a party.

The elections were cricitised by international groups for being completely controlled by the ruling party, as the vote is only open to sitting commune councillors and members of the National Assembly.

Following the widely condemned dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party and the redistribution of its seats, the CPP claimed some 95 percent of eligible voters in the Senate poll.

The upper house announced on Monday that all 10 of the Senate’s commissions will now be chaired by CPP senators, with only one of the Funcinpec senators featuring as a member of the internal bodies.

CPP spokesman Senator Sok Eysan will now head the Commission on Interior, National Defence, Civil Service and National Assembly and Senate Relations. Longtime CPP Senator and Senate spokesman Mam Buneang will head the committee on anti-corruption issues.

Both Eysan and Buneang could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Funcinpec Senator Chea Chantevy is the only non-CPP member to hold commission membership and will work on foreign affairs and media legislation.

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