The Electoral Component was established, with respect to the 28 February 1992 UNTAC mandate, to organize and conduct an election of a Constituent Assembly. The Electoral Component was led by Professor Reginald Austin, the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) who reported to Yasushi Akashi, the Special Representative to the Secretary-General (SRSG). Voter registration opened on 5 October 1992 and polling took place on 23-28 May 1993. There was a turnout of 4,267,192 voters, representing 89.56% of those registered to vote.
The Electoral Component Headquarters was located in Phnom Penh. There were four Electoral Component divisions located at the Component HQ: Administration and Coordination; Training, Education, and Communications; Operations and Computers; and the Complaints, Compliance, and Enforcement Unit (CCEU). The Divisions were headed by Deputy Chief Electoral Officers (DCEOs).
Provincial offices reported to the Electoral Component Headquarters and were headed by Provincial Electoral Officers (PEOs). The offices were located in provincial capital cities and feature records from district offices, headed by District Electoral Supervisors (DESs).
Electoral Component Headquarters
The Component HQ implemented the Electoral Law for Cambodia with regard to the Comprehensive Political Agreement for Cambodia of 23 October 1991 and in consultation with the Supreme National Council (SNC) of Cambodia. Through provincial and district offices, the Component developed and coordinated the registration and polling process. The files contain working papers about the development of the Electoral Law, including revisions and amendments annotated by the CEO and DCEOs. Some of the files also hold agenda, summaries, speeches, and attendance lists for UNTAC meetings with and seminars held for political party representatives and the SNC. Memoranda in the files concern: the SRSG’s Electoral Advisory Committee (EAC) and the development of electoral law; expatriate Cambodians voting at polling stations in New York, Paris, and Sydney; and the monitoring of the elections by non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Several files relate to the Constituent Assembly. These hold memoranda between the SRSG, the CEO, the Chief of the Civilian Personnel Office, the Legal Adviser, and Cambodian politicians about UNTAC’s support of the Assembly. The files include reports and resolutions, biographies of Assembly staff, draft internal regulations of the Assembly, and speeches made by Cambodian politicians and UNTAC personnel. There are also records documenting the development of the Constitution of Cambodia which include: annotated drafts of the Constitution, summaries of meetings about the Constitution, reports from constitutional seminars, and a working paper written by the CEO and titled “Constitutional Principles.”
The Electoral Component Headquarters collection also contains records received from the provincial and district electoral offices. These consist of daily and weekly situation reports, meeting minutes, and surveys. The situation reports were generated by the Provincial Electoral Officers (PEO) and describe: the registration of individuals and political parties; polling; and the security of civilians, UNTAC staff and political party personnel. Additionally, there are minutes for coordination meetings held between the CEO, DCEOs and other UNTAC components which focus on the conduct of political officials and the registration of displaced persons. There are also records of the 21-23 June 1993 PEO internal debriefing conference about the conduct of elections, which include working papers summarizing PEO challenges and surveys concerning the performance of the Electoral Component divisions.
Other records in the collection describe the work and activities of the Electoral Component’s Complaints, Compliance and Enforcement Unit (CCEU), the Administration and Coordination Division, and the Operations and Computers Division.
The Complaints, Compliance and Enforcement Unit investigated alleged violations of electoral law. Memoranda in the files contain information about: the formation of the CCEU; CCEU procedures for handling complaints; collaboration with other UNTAC components; PEO meetings with local authorities; and data about CCEU case types.
A key group of records are the case files, which include a variety of investigative reports concerning violations of electoral law, some alleged, as well as memoranda and notes to file about final handling of cases. The case files document:
• Confiscation of registration cards
• Defamation of party propaganda
• Intimidation of political party members
• Politically motivated killings of civilians and political officials
• Politically motivated kidnapping of civilians and political officials
• Unlawful arrests of civilians
• Registration fraud
• Threats to UNTAC by faction soldiers
• Military attacks on political offices
• Human rights violations
• Shooting and grenade throwing at district party offices
• Allegations of politically-motivated crime
• Alleged violence committed by party officers
• Alleged violence committed against party officers
The files for the Administration and Coordination Division were geographically organized by province. They hold memoranda on electoral policy and procedures, such as the handling of objections to registration, as well as working papers on, for example, possible creation of national identification cards to facilitate the electoral process. In addition, there are meeting summaries of the Communications Working Group and the Transport/Deployment Working Group. These detail voter registration efforts.
The Operations and Computers Division records consist of memoranda, reports, and maps. The memoranda largely concern tally disputes and post-election transport of ballots from polling sites. PEO weekly situation reports are annotated by the CEO and attached maps depict the locations of registration sites. In addition, there are reports about logistics of security and access to polling stations. Also included are the Division’s Logistics and Communications Planning Group reports and working papers.
A final set of records documents the activities of the Security Liaison Officer, who reported to the CEO. The files hold meeting summaries, memoranda, and copies of information requests that were sent to PEO offices. The meeting summaries describe deployments for mobile polling places, the movement of warring factions, and safety ratings for provinces. The memoranda detail a variety of subjects, such as the use of metal detectors at polling places. There are also copies of reports that were sent to the UNTAC Operations Component about the movements of warring factions; security and safety measures checklists that were completed by PEOs; and security plans and briefs.
Electoral Component, Banteay Meanchey Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Banteay Meanchey Province contain DES issued weekly reports; Information/Education Division press briefings and analysis; civic education pamphlets; minutes of Coordination and Electoral Component meetings; and annotated maps of district offices, memoranda, and notes. The memoranda exchanged between the PEO, DESs, and DCEOs concern a variety of topics, including: training programs for registration and civic education staff; registration procedures; a code of conduct for political parties; and the role of party agents in monitoring elections. There are also memoranda between DESs and the Provincial Human Rights Officer about joint planning for programs such as Human Rights Day, celebrated on 10 December 1992. In addition, there are handwritten notes by the PEO and DESs about returnees settling in the province, collaboration with Civilian Police, and the distribution of UNTAC civic education materials.
Electoral Component, Battambang Province
The files for the Electoral Component in Battambang Province contain memoranda, meeting minutes, descriptions of villages, and civic education materials. The memoranda exchanged between the PEO, DESs, and the Electoral Component DCEOs concern registration strategies, as well as seminars for political parties and civic education. Minutes are available for: coordination meetings attended by local UNTAC personnel, civilians, and political parties; Battambang Province personnel meetings; and the Battambang Public Roundtable meeting of political parties held on 15 May 1993. The Advance Electoral Planning Unit (AEPU) created the village descriptions. Among the civic education materials is a March 1993 collection of Cambodian stories titled “On the Road to Pailin: Songs and Stories from the Electoral Team of Rattanak Mondul District.” There are also civic education lesson plans.
Electoral Component, Kampong Cham Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kampong Cham Province consist of memoranda written by the PEO for the CEO about the political situation in the province, the timing of the polling process, and the safety of personnel. Other memoranda directed to DESs also concern the safety and security of polling stations. In addition, the files contain civic education material about the polling process.
Electoral Component, Kampong Chhnang Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kampong Chhnang Province contain memoranda sent by the PEO to DESs about human rights and civic education in districts; district-level registration procedures; and CIVPOL assistance to be provided at registration sites.
Electoral Component, Kampong Speu Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kampong Speu Province consist of meeting minutes and correspondence. The minutes are for coordination meetings held at the Kampong Speu Provincial Headquarters and attended by local UNTAC personnel, civilians, and political parties. The correspondence, sent between the DESs and the Provincial Human Rights Officer, concerns plans for public programs, such as Human Rights Day.
Electoral Component, Kampong Thom Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kampong Thom Province focus on military security. The files contain AEPU reports with annotated maps of district boundaries; memoranda about security for UNTAC personnel and Cambodian civilians; and a set of reports prepared by the Joint Control Center (JCC) about security at registration sites. In addition, there is a Detailed Security Plan for Kampong Thom Province Town, dated 13 April 1993. Another file contains the Force Provost Marshal’s 1 June 1993 final investigation report on the deaths of DES Nakata Atsuhito and his interpreter Lay Sok Pheap.
Electoral Component, Kampot Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kampot Province include meeting minutes, weekly reports, and procedures prepared for DESs about the registration process and training of political party agents. The minutes are from a meeting about electoral law held by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for provincial political parties. The weekly reports were authored by DESs and sent to the PEO along with meeting reports about the civic education of women in the province. Topics covered in the weekly reports include the registration process, DES access to remote villages, and communication with other UNTAC components.
Electoral Component, Kandal Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kandal Province primarily consist of weekly reports authored by DESs. Topics include access to registration sites, meetings with Commune Chiefs, and agenda for civic education programs. The files also contain detailed descriptions of the districts in the province, with hand-drawn maps and demographic data. These were prepared by the AEPU.
Electoral Component, Koh Kong Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Koh Kong Province consist of weekly reports authored by DESs about the progress of the registration effort in villages. Included in the files is A Handbook on Returnee Monitoring in Cambodia, which contains information about the administration of health and social services for returnees to Koh Kong Province. It was prepared by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR).
Electoral Component, Kratie Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Kratie Province contain weekly reports authored by DESs. In addition, in an AEPU file, there is information about the cartographic methodology used to delineate districts. The AEPU file also has reports on villages which describe living conditions such as availability of water, sanitation, security, and means of transportation.
Electoral Component, Phnom Penh Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Phnom Penh Province consist of detailed provincial and district reports prepared by the AEPU. The reports contain maps and data on the province’s population, communes, and villages. The names of local officials, public buildings, and possible registration and polling sites are indicated in the reports. They also describe the local economy and the availability of services such as fuel, rice mills, markets, and transportation, as well as describing.
Electoral Component, Prey Veng Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Prey Veng Province consist of weekly reports and meeting minutes. The reports, authored by DESs, cover: civic education events; civic education targeted at female voters; and false identity cards presented at registration sites; and other subjects. The minutes detail: weekly meetings of the DES, the Provincial Special Task Force on Public Order, and Coordination, Security Meetings, and JCC Meetings. Coordination with Civilian Police and other Components on such topics as arrest procedures and the security of registration sites, polling sites, and staff is described in the minutes.
Electoral Component, Pursat Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Pursat Province include weekly reports and village reports, prepared by DESs, the weekly reports detail activities of local political party offices. The village reports contain information about the political climate, the questions asked by villagers about the electoral process, and civic education activities implemented, such as the distribution of UNTAC pamphlets.
Electoral Component, Sihanoukville Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Sihanoukville Province consist of DES AEPU reports on the local population and weekly reports. The DES reports concern such topics as security, civic education, establishment of polling stations, and cases of political intimidation.
Electoral Component, Stung Treng Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Stung Treng Province consist of a variety of reports and memoranda. There are weekly reports authored by DESs which detail civic education, the training of local polling station staff and meetings about political freedom in provincial districts. There are also reports on weekly PEO meetings held with DESs. The memoranda sent from the Coordination Officer at Electoral Component Headquarters, through the PEO, to various UNTAC personnel are largely about air operations, plans for polling, and support from military and CIVPOL components.
Electoral Component, Svay Rieng Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Svay Rieng Province include weekly reports prepared by DESs and by Civil Administration staff. There are also pamphlets with the text of the Paris Agreements, in English and Khmer.
Electoral Component, Takeo Province
The records of the Electoral Component in Takeo Province include weekly reports prepared by DESs. In addition, there are “Election Planning” files, which contain hand-annotated maps indicating locations for polling station sites.