PHNOM PENH —
National Assembly members on Tuesday voted via secret ballot for top positions in legislative leadership.
Kem Sokha, vice president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, was appointed first vice president of the Assembly, taking over for Ngoun Ngil, a senior member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, who was elected second vice president of the Assembly.
In all, 122 Assembly members voted in the session, the first vote for the new legislature, which has been without the opposition since July 2013 elections.
There was a tense moment, however, as Kem Sokha moved to take the seat of Ngoun Ngil, who at first refused to move and only did so at the prompting of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who attended the session.
“Why is it so difficult?” Hun Sen chided. “One moves from that seat to this seat, and one walks from this seat to that seat. The end.”
Kem Sokha later told reporters it was a seat given him by Cambodian voters, and one he intends to use to promote electoral reform and to improve the National Assembly.