UN Support for the Presidential election

4 Jul 2012

UN Support for the Presidential election

1. What kind of support is the UN providing to the 2012 Presidential election?



PNTL is responsible for ensuring security during the election. UNPOL is helping PNTL to prepare for this role by providing training. UNPOL will be on hand to support PNTL with operations, if requested.

Technical and legal advice
The UN is providing technical advice to the national electoral management bodies, Secretariado Tecnico de Administracao Eleitoral (STAE) and Comissao Nacional de Eleicoes (CNE). The main areas of support are: operations, public information, civic and voter education, training, administration and management, and electoral monitoring. The UN legal team advised STAE and CNE on the drafting of the electoral legal framework and subsidiary legislation.
Logistical support

As requested by the electoral management bodies, the UN is providing logistical support where necessary. The UN will use its helicopters to support the deployment and retrieval of sensitive electoral material, such as ballot papers and voter lists, in remote areas.

Political parties/Presidential candidates

The UN is supporting political parties and presidential candidates through training and by hosting resource centres in five districts (Dili, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro and Oecusse). At the resource centres, the political parties and presidential candidates can access basic office facilities, information and meeting spaces.


The UN is supporting local NGOs in their efforts to increase women's participation in the electoral process. Support includes training potential candidates in public speaking, leadership, and addressing women's needs in communities.

Youth and first-time voters

The UN is encouraging peaceful participation by youth through outreach to first-time voters.

2. How does the kind and level of support differ from previous elections?
  • The UN has provided support to elections in Timor-Leste since 1999
  • The UN tailors its support to the evolving needs of the country
  • The UN currently has 171 electoral staff working for the 2012 elections. The UN staff work with STAE and CNE in all 13 districts. The staff breakdown is as follows: 21 international professional officers, 8 Timorese professional officers, 129 International United Nations Volunteers (UNVs), 6 Timorese UNVs, 7 Timorese staff
  • The number of UN electoral staff is significantly reduced from the 2007 national elections, when more than 600 election experts were employed by the UN.
3. How is the support organized?
  • Different UN agencies, such as UNMIT, UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF, are providing support for the 2012 elections through an integrated "One UN" approach. All UN technical support is coordinated through the UN Electoral Support Team (UNEST).
4. What is the UN not doing?
  • The UN is not conducting the elections
  • The UN is not observing the elections
  • The UN is not providing financial support to candidates and political parties
  • The UN does not provide transportation or other kinds of logistical support for candidates. The only exception is one helicopter flight for each candidate to Oecusse during the official presidential electoral campaign period from 29 February to 14 March 2012. This will enable residents of Oecusse to better participate in the electoral process by having more contact with candidates.
5. Background
  • Like in 2007, Timor-Leste's electoral management bodies (STAE and CNE) are organising both the presidential and parliamentary elections for 2012. The UN stands ready to provide the support it can to the STAE and CNE
  • In October 2010, the Government of Timor-Leste officially requested UN support for the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections
  • In February 2011, the Prime Minister requested that UNPOL participate alongside PNTL in the maintenance of public order in the country during the election period
  • UNPOL will continue to stand ready to provide operational support to the PNTL, if it is required and requested during the election period
  • UNPOL has supported extensive trainings to prepare PNTL officers on all aspects of the election including the legal framework and the electoral system
  • The 2012 national elections will be a milestone in the advancement and consolidation of democracy in Timor-Leste and a key step in the strengthening of the democratic culture in the country
  • Over 600,000 citizens have registered to vote
  • 13 candidates are competing in the Presidential Election
  • The Presidential Election will take place on 17 March 2012
  • STAE and CNE have led voter and civic education efforts targeting women, youth and first time voters, and vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, elders, and prisoners.