PHNOM PENH (Cambodia Herald) – The new Senate held its inaugural session on Saturday, re-electing Chea Sim as president and voting for Say Chhum as first vice president and Tep Ngon as second vice president.
Chea Sim, chairman of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and Say Chhum, chairman of the standing committee of the CPP politburo, were both elected unanimously by 60 votes.
Tep Ngon, the third CPP candidate, was elected by 48 votes, with the other 12 votes going to opposition candidate Kong Kom, acting president of the Sam Rainsy Party.
"I thank all of you senators who still support me as president," Chea Sim told the opening ceremony for the new Senate which was presided over by King Norodom Sihamoni.
"We will keep working to expand democracy in society as well as social and economic development," he said, adding that they would also work to "integrate Cambodia into the region."
Kong Kom thanked the CPP for allowing him to run in the election for second vice president.
“The king wanted to have multiple members in essential positions of the Senate but there were no members of other parties elected apart from the ruling party," he said.
Dean Oum Manu Rin, the dean of the upper house, did not attend Saturday's ceremony due to health reasons.
The inauguration of the new upper house follows Senate elections by commune councillors in January.