Following the Election of Members of the National Assembly in the 1st legislature in 1993, organized by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), Cambodia adopted the Law on the Election of Members of the National Assembly in 1997. This Election Law prescribes functions and duties of the National Election Committee (NEC) of Cambodia in organizing elections by itself and has been implemented since the first election in 1998. Up to the present, the NEC Cambodia, a constitutional body since 2014, has organized the elections by itself 16 times, including universal election (the Election of Members of the National Assembly and the Election of Communes/Sangkat Councils) 9 times and non-universal election (the Election of Members of the Senate and the Councils Election) 7 times.
According to the Law on the Organization and Functioning of the National Election Committee, the NEC has the jurisdiction, duty and responsibility for planning, organizing, administering and monitoring elections. One of the 28 key duties of the NEC is to establish a commission to destroy the casted ballots in each Election of Members of the National Assembly after these ballots have been stored safely for 6 years and the ballot papers casted during each Election of Communes/Sangkat Councils after these ballots have been stored safely for 3 years from the Election Day of each mandate.
Following the spirit of the aforementioned law, the NEC organized the event on the destruction of the casted ballots in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017 elections on 24 June 2020 at # 9, Street 345, Sangkat Boeung Kak I, Khan Toul Kork, Phnom Penh, under the presidency of H.E. Mr. Nuth Sokhom, the NEC vice-chairman.
On that occasion, His Excellency vice-chairman stated that the NEC would destroy 43,293 packages equivalent to 22,001,050 ballots by shredding. “Today-destruction marks the fourth time the NEC destroys the ballots after they’ve been stored safely as regulated the law,” added His Excellency vice-chairman.
The date of the destruction of the casted ballots for 4 times are as follows:
- The 1st time: 12 November 2005;
- The 2nd time: 24 April 2009;
- The 3rd time: 24 October 2014; and
- The 4th time: 24 June 2020.
H.E. Mr. Tep Nytha, the NEC General Secretary, reported during the ceremony as the followings:
- Obviously, the ballots for each election have been stored diligently and transparently ranging from pre-election printing, packing, transporting and delivering, especially during and after the election, pursuant to the subsequent procedures from the polling stations, the Commune/Sangkat Election Commissions, Capital/Provincial Election Commissions up to delivery to the NEC, since when they have been stored safely in the NEC warehouse.
- The destruction of the casted ballots takes one week. In the course of conducting this task, the NEC assigns officials to monitor on a regular basis and stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, national and international observers, and representatives of media outlets are invited to monitor and observe