UN Confident that Elections will be Free of Violence

7 Jul 2008

UN Confident that Elections will be Free of Violence

Dili April 2, 2007 - Security for the presidential election is progressing well as United Nations police officers (UNPol) in coordination with the National Police of Timor Leste (PNTL) move to the second phase of their security plan for April the 9th.

Under phase two of electoral security operations, UNPol and the PNTL are providing close protection to all eight presidential candidates. The police are also conducting risk assessments across Timor-Leste's 13 districts for all political events, ensuring the areas are safe and that adequate security measures are in place.

The UN Deputy Special Representative for Security, Eric Tan, said today that the efforts of a UN led elections security plan that assesses different areas according to risks and threats has a further two stages.

"The plan categorises all of Timor Leste according to three categories: A (high risk), B (medium risk) and C (low risk). Allocation of personnel and types of security measures are based upon this categorisation," Mr Tan said.

While still firmly in stage two until the end of campaigning on April the 7th, phase three begins on election day.

"UNPol and PNTL will be at every polling centre, mobile patrols will be stationed in each district and securing between three to five polling centres. Thirdly, Formed Police Units (FPUs) will be available in pre-designated areas of responsibility, ready to react should the need arise."

Mr Tan said further security will be provided if needed by the International Security Forces whose involvement is organised within the Trilateral Forum bringing together representatives from Timor Leste, Australia and the United Nations.

The fourth and final phase of security will be in the post-elections period when UNPOL and PNTL will remain in their allocated sectors until the final results are announced.

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."

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