PHNOM PENH, Cambodia Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the opening session of the senate in the fourth mandate on Monday after a non-universal election in February.

The senate, or the upper house, has 62 seats, but the election was held for 58 seats only, as two senators were appointed by the king and two others were nominated by the national assembly, or the lower house.

In the February non-universal election, the Cambodian People's Party of Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen won all 58 senate seats at stake.

Speaking at the opening session, Sihamoni expressed warm congratulations to the elected senators who would fulfill their parliamentary role in this supreme legislative body.

"The senate in the fourth legislature must continue contributing more actively to the enhancement of social democratization, aiming at ensuring the social and economic development and protecting the common interests of all classes of citizens," he said.

He added that the senate must ensure the protection of justice and human rights in order to enhance the long-lasting harmony in the society.

Meanwhile, the monarch urged all the senators to do their best to fulfill their mandate, to maintain discipline, and to respect the code of ethics for the senators.

All the senators are scheduled to be sworn in this afternoon (April 23) during a ceremony at the Royal Palace.

The senate was founded in 1999 and a non-universal election, which is voted by the members of parliament and the commune councilors, is held once in six years.

Source: NAM News Network