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Over 2,000 observers to monitor next Monday’s landmark elections in Timor-Leste: UN

Over 2,000 observers to monitor next Monday’s landmark elections in Timor-Leste: UN

More than 2,000 national and international election observers will monitor next Monday’s landmark presidential elections in Timor-Leste, the first polls held in the tiny nation since it gained independence from Indonesia in 2002, the United Nations mission to the impoverished country said today.

Almost 1,900 national observers from more than 50 Timorese organisations have already registered to observe voting across 504 polling centres in 13 districts for the 9 April polls, the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) said in a press release, adding that 180 international observers will also be accredited by the electoral authorities.

“The high number of national observers signifies this nation’s commitment to a fair process. The international observers bring a wealth of experience from other developing democracies, experience which they will apply in a fair and dispassionate manner,” said the UN’s Representative for Electoral Support, Finn Reske-Nielsen.

The largest international delegation is from the European Union, with 28 observers supported by an expert Core Team. These will be joined by a group 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 United States, Indonesia, New Zealand and China, have mandated diplomats from those embassies to act as impartial observers.

UNMIT is mandated through Security Council resolution 1704 to support all aspects of this year’s presidential and parliamentary electoral process, including providing technical and logistical support and electoral policy advice. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is providing support and facilitation to both national and international observers.

Turning to security in the capital Dili, UN Police (UNPOL) – which has full responsibility for policing – said today that the situation has been calm with no serious security incidents related to presidential campaigning.