PHNOM PENH, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The National Assembly of Cambodia on Tuesday approved the new Law on Senate Election which adds a provision that allows Senate seats to be stripped from any political party that boycotts Senate after an election.
Ninety-seven out of 108 lawmakers in attendance adopted the law.
Ouk Bun Chhoeun, senator from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and chairman of the Senate's legislation commission, said under the new law, any political party that boycotts the first Senate session after the king convenes would see its Senate seat(s) taken away and redistributed to other political parties.
He added that the new legislation also increased the number of the Senate seats from the current 61 to 62 in the Senate election on Jan. 14, 2018, and the campaign period for the Senate election was reduced from three weeks to two weeks.
He said the new law replaced the old one that was made in 2005.
Held every six years, the Senate election will be voted by lawmakers and commune councilors across the country.
The current Senate, or the Upper House, has 61 seats, including 46 from the ruling CPP, 11 from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, and two each from the king's institution and the National Assembly.
The Sam Rainsy Party merged with the Human Rights Party in late 2012 to form a new party called the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which is now the country's main opposition party.