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Only two parties to join race in Cambodia’s 3rd Senate election

PHNOM PENH, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) — Only two out of 36 political parties in Cambodia will join race in the country’s third Senate election, chairman of the National Election Committee (NEC) said Tuesday.

Im Soursdey, chairman of the NEC, said only the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Sam Rainsy Party will take part in the third senate election that will be held on Jan. 29, 2012.

According to the laws, senators are elected by members of the National Assembly or lower house, and commune councilors.

Currently, the total seats in the senate is 61 with two of them are appointed by King Norodom Sihamoni and two other seats filled by National Assembly representatives, and the rest are elected to those representing the political parties obtaining seats in the lower house.

In the last senate election in 2006, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party won 45, followed by FUNCINPC party with 10 and the remaining two went to Sam Rainsy Party.

Sources inside the NEC said there are fewer political parties to take part in the third senate election next year because following the 2008 general election, FUNCINPC and other parties gained few seats at the commune councils or got none; therefore, they will gain risk to get no seat at all if they decide to take part in the upcoming senate election.

In the vote picking number on Tuesday, the Cambodian People’s Party will be the first in the list and to follow by Sam Rainsy Party in the second.

The Senate was first established in 1999, and its first election was held in January 2006.

The Senatorial election is held every six years while the lower house holds its election every five years.

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