Despite Cambodia’s improved infrastructure, election materials still need to be delivered by air, water and tractor to certain provinces and regions, said officials from the National Election Committee (NEC).

Dy Phirun, NEC official and head of operations, discussed the logistical intricacies in a video interview titled “Transport and Distribution of Materials for Electoral Work” released this week.

“Cambodian infrastructure has developed positively, so transporting materials from the capital to the provinces does not a matter. However, distributing materials from provinces to communes can present obstacles,” Phirun stated.

“We use air transport for a couple of communes in Battambang, Kampong Chhnang, Kampong Thom, Koh Kong, and Preah Sihanouk provinces. Other regions require different means, like motorcycles or hand-tractors, or even air transport to Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri and Kratie provinces. In 2018, we used elephants to carry these materials,” Phirun added.

Despite these challenges, he assured that NEC will implement proper strategies to ensure the safe delivery of this equipment to the desired locations.”

The national elections are scheduled for Sunday, July 23.

Sam Kuntheamy, executive director of the Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (NICFEC), agreed, stating that NEC’s transport of materials has not been problematic.

Dy Phirun noted that election materials must be moved in stages due to their inability to be stored for extended periods for safety reasons. These materials include election boxes, commune hall keys, booths, walkie-talkies, voter lists, ballot papers, stamps, indelible inks, sacks, envelopes, and other safe packaging materials.

“These materials are essential for conducting elections and vote counting. Without these, we might face difficulties opening the polling stations. Vital materials include voter lists, ballot papers, secret stamps, election boxes, commune keys, and indelible inks,” he elaborated.

Phirun stressed that materials, documents, and election equipment should not be delivered more than 36 hours before the election day, typically between the evening of July 21 and July 22.

He called for all election commissions, especially those at the commune and polling station level, to pay close attention.