The Importance of Electoral Observation

7 Jul 2008

The Importance of Electoral Observation

Dili, 03 April 2007 – A significant number of national and international observers will watch over the electoral process in the lead up and during the presidential elections on April 9.

Almost 1,900 National Observers from more than 50 Timorese organisations have registered to observe voting across 504 polling centres in 13 districts.

The UN's Representative for Electoral Support, Finn Reske-Nielsen, said observers provide a valuable role in ensuring that the elections are free, fair and transparent while meeting national and international standards.

"The high number of national observers signifies this nation's commitment to a fair process," Mr Reske-Nielsen said.

In addition to national observers, 180 international observers will be accredited by the electoral authorities representing around 20 international delegations and organisations

"The international observers bring a wealth of experience from other developing democracies, experience which they will apply in a fair and dispassionate manner," Mr Reske Nielsen said.

The largest delegation composed of 28 Observers supported by an expert Core Team, is from the European Union. They will be joined by a delegation of senior parliamentarians from the European Parliament.

Japan and the Association of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), Australia, the Republic of Korea and Brazil will also send observers and a number of countries with embassies in Timor-Leste, including the USA, Indonesia, New Zealand and China, have mandated their diplomats to act as impartial observers.

UNMIT is mandated through Security Council Resolution 1704 to "support Timor-Leste in all aspects of the 2007 presidential and parliamentary electoral process, including through technical and logistical support, electoral policy advice and verification or other means." UNDP is providing support and facilitation to both national and international observers.

For further information please contact UNMIT spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453