Timor-Leste: UN mission welcomes code of conduct for presidential election

Timor-Leste: UN mission welcomes code of conduct for presidential election

Atul Khare
The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today welcomed the signing of a code of conduct for next month’s presidential election, saying it will help with efforts to ensure that the polls are free and fair.

The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today welcomed the signing of a code of conduct for next month’s presidential election, saying it will help with efforts to ensure that the polls are free and fair.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Atul Khare, said the code – which was signed by all eight presidential candidates in the capital, Dili – is a clear commitment by all candidates to free and fair elections.

The code commits candidates, and their supporters, to either accept the election results or challenge them only through competent courts and to conduct campaigns that are positive and not based on personal attacks against other candidates.

Other clauses include a commitment to respect the rights of competing candidates and to refrain from exercising any illegitimate influence on voters.

The code was drafted by the Technical Secretariat for the Administration of Elections, the national body which will run the election, and was approved by the National Electoral Commission.

Mr. Khare also signed the code as a witness, along with State, church and civil society representatives.

“Today’s signing signifies a formal acknowledgement of the guiding principles and rules that will help to ensure that the 2007 presidential elections are free, fair, transparent and peaceful,” he said.

UNMIT’s mandate includes the provision of support to Timor-Leste to carry out presidential and parliamentary elections this year.