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Timor-Leste Parliamentary Election Democratic and Peaceful Carter Center Preliminary Statement

CONTACTS: 
In Atlanta: Deborah Hakes +1-404-420-5124
In Dili: Samantha Aucock +670-734-7655 

(Tetum Version Follows English)

The majority of Timor-Leste voters participated in an orderly and peaceful June 30 parliamentary election.  The administration of these elections was very well executed, bearing testimony to the hard work of election officials and the determination of Timorese citizens to ensure their country remains on the democratic path chosen at independence.
 
Key points:

  • Polling stations were very well organized and electoral workers carried out their responsibilities competently and professionally. Carter Center observers report only isolated irregularities during the conduct of the poll and these are unlikely to affect the overall success of the vote.
  • Witnesses (party agents) from more than two political parties and non-partisan domestic observers were present in nearly all polling stations visited.
  • Several instances of violence and incendiary political rhetoric marred an otherwise peaceful campaign but fortunately these negative practices did not appear to affect voter turnout.
  • Although counting procedures were revised at a late date following the presidential election, shifting counting from individual polling stations to 13 centralized district locations appeared to be well implemented. However, the balance of important considerations involving the security and transparency of the counting process requires careful assessment before future elections.
  • The Carter Center will continue to observe the district counting and national tabulation until complete.

Carter Center involvement in Timor-Leste began in June 1999 when former U.S. President Jimmy Carter met with Timorese leader Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao, then under house arrest in Indonesia.  The Center subsequently observed the 1999 popular consultation, the 2001 constituent assembly election, and the 2002 presidential election.

The Carter Center was invited by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) to observe the 2007 elections. Center observers visited 12 districts during the parliamentary election campaign and a 15-member delegation observed polling and counting in 8 districts.  Observers met with political parties, election officials, civil society, and domestic observers, all of whom encouraged international observers from the Center to help build confidence in the elections.

The Carter Center conducts its election observation in accordance with the Declaration of Principles of International Election Observation and Code of Conduct adopted at the United Nations in 2005.  The Center's interest is in the integrity of the process and not in the outcome of the election. This statement is preliminary and further statements will be issued as necessary to complete our assessment.

Election Preparations

Despite significant logistical challenges, the administration of these elections has been a major success.  The Carter Center congratulates CNE and the Technical Secretariat for Election Administration (STAE) for their successful organization of these elections with crucial support from the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste and other international organizations and donors.

Campaign

The campaign period, although largely peaceful, was marked by a number of issues of concern to The Carter Center.  Negative campaign practices, such as the use of incendiary political rhetoric, threatened to trigger more violence among political supporters and may have intimidated candidates and citizens from engaging in more vigorous debate.  Personalities rather than party policies often predominated.  Such practices limit rather than amplify the information available to voters.

Several instances of violence, including two deaths, and other acts of intimidation during the campaign period are deplorable and Timorese political leaders and supporters need to renew their established commitment to political tolerance.

Timor's diverse linguistic composition and the large youth population compound the challenge facing civic education efforts to strengthen the foundations of democratic behavior in East Timor.

Security

Voter confidence and low incidence of conflict during both the campaign and on election day were partly due to the presence of impartial security officials at polling centers. Although observers did hear reports of impartial Timor-Leste National Police members, such reports were not widespread. The presence of the police, with the assistance of international forces, was a strong deterrent to voter intimidation on election day. Remembering that political division within the security forces was a primary catalyst for the 2006 crisis, the Carter Center strongly encourages the donor community and the Timorese government to focus on the development of a professional and impartial police force.

Polling

The Center congratulates the Timorese people, election workers, security forces, party witnesses, and observers for elections that were peaceful, orderly, and in accordance with the established election procedures.  Although figures are not available at this time, voter turnout appears to have been strong.  Carter Center observers reported that an overwhelming majority of elections officials performed their responsibilities with impartiality and professionalism.

Young Timorese demonstrated their commitment to the democratic process, not only as voters, but as polling station officials, party agents, and observers from civil society organizations.  Women were also present in good numbers in all of these capacities.
Most polling stations opened on time or with only a brief delay and followed correct procedures.  Heavy rains in some parts of the country in the days before the elections presented serious logistical challenge for the delivery of election materials.  With essential assistance from the UN and the International Stabilization Force election materials reached the polling stations.  The polling stations were well organized and election officials appeared to understand the proper discharge of their responsibilities.

Polling officials examined the proper forms of voter identification in most cases; however they did not always check fingers for indelible ink prior to issuing a ballot paper.  Carter Center observers reported that polling station layout respected voter secrecy.  Polling officials correctly applied indelible ink after voters deposited their ballot paper in the ballot box.

Candidate witnesses and domestic observers were present in most stations and provided good coverage nationally.  The security presence provided by the UN, the international community and the national police was visible but not intrusive.

Ballot Collection and District Counting

Observed poll closings, sealing of ballot boxes with numbered ties, and the transport of election materials to district counting centers and counts were orderly and properly implemented.  Polling officials were mostly well informed about appropriate procedures and the need to accommodate the dual imperatives of security and transparency.

Although the Center understands that Timor's political parties shifted the counting from polling stations to district centers in order to protect the anonymity of voters, this practice requires special care to ensure the counting procedure is accessible to party agents and observers.  The procedure for mixing ballot papers from multiple polling stations and the simultaneous counting at multiple tables is difficult for party agents to follow.  Party agents and observers in several districts were concerned that they could not follow the proceedings adequately.  For example, on election night in Dili, party agents rightfully demanded closer proximity to the reception and reconciliation of ballot papers and STAE officials are to be congratulated for responding positively.

Given concerns expressed to us about the transparency of the entire electoral process, the Carter Center believes that all sides should strive to ensure the proper implementation of measures to check vote tabulation.  STAE needs to ensure continued access to the district counting process and national tabulation so these can be cross-checked against the results collected by party poll watchers and observers.

Increased coordination between CNE and the media has also been a significant deterrent to post-election violence in Timor-Leste. Public trust in official sources of information is crucial to acceptance of election results. CNE now publicizes interim results of the count in both local print media and radio broadcasts. Through effective use of the media, Timor's media and electoral institutions will prevent misinformation from influencing public opinion.

The Carter Center hopes that Timorese political leaders will send clear, unequivocal public messages to remind their supporters to respect the electoral process.  Any concerns or petitions arising from the election results should be resolved openly through the appropriate legal channels so that political parties, voters, and observers can accept the final results with confidence.

The Carter Center will continue to follow the ongoing tabulation process and announcement of official results.

####

The Carter Center celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2007. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers in developing nations to increase crop production. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Please visit www.cartercenter.org to learn more about The Carter Center.




Timor-Leste Eleisaun Parlamentaria Demokratiku Ho Dame The Carter Center Nia Statementu Preliminariu

FO SAI LALAISTersa, 30 de Junho, 2007

 

Kontaktu: Iha Atlanta: Deborah Hakes +1-404-420-5124
Iha Dili: Samantha Aucock +670-734-7655

 

Maioria votantes iha Timor-Leste partisipa iha eleisaun parlamentaria nebe halao ho tuir dalan (orden) no dame iha loron 30 fulan Junho. Administrasaun hosi eleisaun ida ne'e halao ho diak teb-tebes, hatudu ho matan ba servisu makas nebe ofisiais eleisaun sira halao no determinasaun  hosi ema Timor atu garante sira nia nasaun iha nafatin dalan ba demokrasia nebe sira hili ona iha sira nia independencia.

Pontus xavi/ importante:

  • Stasaun votus organiza ho diak no Officiais eleisaun (brigades) sira halao sira nia responsabilidade ho kompetencia no profesional. Observador hosi Carter Center nian hato'o nia reportajen nebe hetan deit iregularidade nebe kikoan durante eleisaun nebe karik sei la afeta suksesu tomak hosi eleisaun ne'e.
  • Testamunha (fiskais partidu nian) nebe marka sira nia presensa, liu partidu politika rua ba leten nune'e mos observador domestiku kuase marka sira nia presensa iha fatin nebe ami visita.
  • Maske iha violencia oitoan no liafuan retorika nebe manas iha kampanha dame nia laran, maibe ida ne'e hanesan sorti ida tamba pratika negativus hirak nebe mosu la afeta  ema atu ba vota.
  • Maske prosedementu kontajem nian halo mudansa iha loron ikus liu hafoin eleisaun presidensial, hanesan muda kontajem hosi kada stasaun votasaun/ individu ba fatin distritu sanolu resin tolu  (13) nebe centralizadu, hare katak ida ne'e implementa ho diak. Maibe balansu konsiderasaun importante atu envolve seguransa no transparansia iha prosesu kontajem presiza halo peskiza nebe diak liu tan iha eleisaun ba futuro mai.
  • Carter Center  sei kontinua observa kontajen iha distritu no tabulasau nasional to'o kompletu/remata.

Komisaun Nasional ba Eleitoral (CNE) konvida Carter Center atu observa iha eleisaun ba tinan 2007.  Carter Center nia involvementu iha Timor-Leste hahu kedas iha fulan Junho, tinan 1999 kuandu Presidente Jimmy Carter hasoru malu ho Lider Timor nian, Sr. Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao, iha nia uma kastigu fatin iha Indonesia.  Hafoin tutuir malu, Center halao kedas observasaun ba konsultasaun popular nebe halao iha tinan 1999, Eleisaun ba assembleia konstituante iha tinan 2001 no eleisaun presidensial iha tinan 2002.

Carter Center observa periodu kampanha eleisaun parlamentaria ba tinan 2007 no hatu'un membru delegasaun nain sanolu resin lima (15) ba loron eleisaun. Observador  Carter Center nian ba visita distritu 12 molok eleisaun no observa  votasaun no kontajen iha distritu walu (8).

Representate Carter Center nian hasoru malu ho partidu politikas oi-oin, ofisiais eleisaun, sociadade sivil, observadores domestiku, no hotu-hotu nebe fo koragem ba observador internasional hosi Carter Center atu fo tulun hari'i fiar metin ba eleisaun ida ne'e.

Carter Center halao nia observasaun kona ba eleisaun tuir deklarasaun principius hosi Observasaun  Eleisaun Internasional no Kode Konduta/regras nebe adopta hosi Nasoens Unidas iha tinan 2005.  Interese Carter nian iha integridade hosi prosesu no laos iha resultadu hosi eleisaun. Statementu ida ne'e hanesan preliminariu ida no statementu tuir mai sei hasai tuir nesesidade atu kompleta ami nia observasaun/peskiza.

Preparasaun ba eleisaun

Maske iha desafius kona ba logistika, administrasaun ba eleisaun maibe ida ne'e hetan suksesu bo'ot.  Carter Center hato'o parabens ba CNE no Sekretariadu Teknika ba Administrasaun Eleisaun nian (STAE) ba sira nia suksesu iha organiza eleisaun ida ne'e liu hosi suporta makas nebe fo hosi ONU nia misaun nebe hanaran United Nations Integrated Mission iha Timor-Leste, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), nomos organizasaun internasional seluk no doadores sira.

Kampanha

Periodu kampanha, maske lao ho dame maibe marka mos ho lamentasoes balu ba Carter Center. Pratika kampanha negativu hanesan uja lia fuan retorika politika nebe kroat/hamanas, ameasas nebe hamosu violencia entre apoiantes partidu politikus nian bele intimida kandidatus no ema nebe atu hola parte iha debates hirak nebe antusias liu. Lia fuan hasoru personalidade duke programa ka politika partidu nian mak kuase domina liu. Praktika sira hanesan ne'e diak liu limita tiha duke haburas liu tan liu hosi informasaun nebe fo ba votantes sira.

Violencia balun, inclui ema nain rua mate, no asaun intimidasaun seluk durante periodu kampanha sei labele simu/hakribi, lederes politikus timor nian no nia apoiantes sira presiza atu hari hikas fali sira nia komitmentu ba toleransia politika.

Komposisaun lian Timor nian nebe oi-oin no populasaun juventude nebe bo'ot teb-tebes sai haneasn desafius ba esforsu edukasaun civika atu reforsa fundasaun/ formasaun atitude democratiku iha Timor-Leste.

Siguransa

Fiar a'an hosi votantes sira no insidente konflitu nebe ki'ik durante kampanha no loron eleisaun, hosi parte ida, tamba mos presence hosi oficiais siguransa nebe imparsial (la adere ba parte ida/neutral) iha fatin sentru votasaun. Maske observadores sira rona katak iha membru PNTL nebe inparsial maibe reportagen hanesan ne'e la fahe hikas ba fatin seluk. Presensa hosi polisia ho asistensia forsa internasional iha Dili, sai hanesan dalan atu halakon intimidasaun ba votantes sira iha loron eleisaun. Fo hanoin katak divisaun politika iha forca siguransa mak sai hanesan katalisador ba krisi nebe akontese iha tinan 2006, Ho nune'e Carter Center enkoraga liu tan komunidade doadores no guverno Timor-Leste atu focus liu ba desemvolvementu forca policia nebe professional no impasial.

Votasaun

Carter Center kongratula povu Timor tomak, oficiais eleitorais ou brigadas, forsa siguransa, Fiskais partidus, no observadores ba eleisaun nebe halao tuir dalan, dame, no tuir lolos prosedur eleisaun nebe hari. Maske laiha figuras ka numeru iha tempo ida ne'e, ema nebe ba vota sae makas liu tan.  Observadores Carter Center hato'o katak maioria hosi oficiais eleisaun sira halao sira nia responsabilidade ho imparsialidade no profesional .

Foin Sae Timor oan sira hatudu sira nia komitmentu ba prosesu demokratiku, laos deit hanesan votantes, maibe mos sai hanesan ofisiais ba stasaun vota, fiskais partidu politika nian nomos observador hosi organizasaun sosiadade sivil. Feto mos marka sira nia presensa iha numeru nebe as tuir sira nia kapasidade iha parte hirak ne'e.

Kuase stasaun vota hotu loke iha oras nebe pas ou iha oras nebe tarde oitoan deit nomos tuir lolos prosedur nebe los. Udan tau makas iha fatin balun molok loron eleisaun nian, fo mos desafius ligistika nebe seriu tebes atu lori material eleisaun nian. Ho assistensia nebe esensial tebes hosi ONU no Forsa Estabilizasaun Internasional, ho nune'e material eleisaun hirak ne'e konsege lori to'o iha centru votasaun nebe iha. Stasaun vota hirak ne'e organiza ho diak no officias eleisaun comprende tebes sira nia knar responsabilidade nebe labele halao.

Oficiais votu ejamina formulariu identifikasaun votantes nebe propriu iha kasu barak; maibe sira dala barak la hare ema nia liman fuan nebe atu tau tinta nebe susar atu lakon (indelible ink ) molok atu fo sai kartaun buletin votus.  Observador Carter Center nian fo sai katak Sentru votasaun hari duni segredu ba votantes sira. Ofisiais vota nian mos aplika hodi tau tinta nebe iha hafoin votantes sira hatama sira nia voletin de votus ba kaixa votus nian.

Kandidatu fiskais no observador domestiku marka sira nia presence iha kuase fatin sentru votasaun hotu nebe hatudu katak sira presensa espalhadu iha teritoriu tomak ka nasional. Presenca siguransa fo hosi ONU, komunidade internasional no polisia nasional iha duni, maibe la bok buat ida iha fatin nebe refere.

Halibur buletin de votus no Kontajen iha Distritu

Observa taka votasaun, xavi metin kaixa votus ho tali nebe ho numeru, no lori material eleisaun nian ba centru kontajen distritu no kontajen implementa ho didiak no tuir dalan. Ofisiais vota nian barak mak hetan informasaun diak kona ba prosedur nebe apropriadu no nesesidade atu akomoda ordem rua nebe hanesan seguransa no transparansia.

Maske Center Center kompriende katak Parlamentu Timor halao mudansa ba kontajen hosi estasaun vota ba sentru distritu para bele proteje anonimu hosi votantes sira, maibe pratika ida ne'e presiza dalan nebe spesifiku atu asegura produre kontajen nebe fiskais partidus nian no observadores sira bele hetan aksesu. Prosedur atu kahur boletin votus hosi stasaun votus nebe bar-barak no kontajen nebe halao dala ida deit (simultaneous counting) iha tabela nebe barak ne'e susar teb-tebes ba fiskais partidus sira atu tuir. Fiskais no observadores sira iha distritu balun lamenta teb-tebes katak sira labele tuir procedementu ida ne'e ho didiak.  Hanesan exemplu iha eleisaun kalan iha Dili, ajentes fiskais sira ho lolos duni husu atu hakbesik a'an ba resepsaun/simu no rekonsiliasaun/verifikasaun ba boletin de votus no ba ida ne'e presiza fo mos kongratula/parabens ba sira nebe hosi STAE nebe fo resposta nebe positive teb-tebes.

Ba keixas nebe refere mai ami, kona ba transparansia hosi prosesu eleisaun tomak, Carter Center fiar katak hosi parte hotu-hotu tenki esforsu makas atu asegura implementasaun hosi dalan/asaun nebe propriu atu cek tabulasaun ba votus(check vote tabulation).  STAE presiza atu garantia aksesu nebe nafatin to iha prosesu kontajen distritu no tabulasaun nasional ho nune'e bele halo cross-checked ba resultadu nebe halibur hosi fiskais partidu no observadores sira.

Hasae koordenasaun entre CNE no media nebe sai signifikante teb-tebes atu bele prevene violencia hafoin eleisaun hotu iha Timor-Leste. Fiar publiku nian ba fontes informasaun ofisial hanesan parte ida importante teb-tebes ba ema atu simu resultadu eleisaun nian. Agora CNE maka publika resultadu kontajen iha media nebe hakerek no radio nebe fo sai noticias. Liu hosi uja media nebe efektivu, media iha Timor no instituisaun eleitorais bele prevene informasaun nebe sala hosi influencia opiniao publika.

Carter Center hein katak, Lideres Politika Timor Nian sei haruka mensagem nebe mos no la adere ba publiku atu fo hanoin ba sira nia apoiantes sira atu bele respeitu prosesu eleisaun.  Keixas ruma ka petisaun nebe mosu hosi resultadu eleisaun tenki resolve ho nakloke liu hosi dalan legais nebe apropriadu ho nune'e partidu politika sira, votantes, no observadores sira bele simu resultadu final ho fiar metin.

Carter Center sei kontinua atu tuir nafatin prosesu tabulasaun nebe lao hela no fo sai resultadu ofisial.

####

Sr. President Jimmy Carter ho nia kaben Sinhora Rosalynn mak hari'i Carter Center iha tinan 1982. Servisu hamotuk ho Universidade Emory, atu lori paz no saude diak ba mundo tomak. Carter Center sai hanesan Organizasaun non Govermentais ida nebe laos atu buka lukru (profit). Center fo tulun tiha ona atu hadian ema nian moris iha kuase  nasoens hamotuk 65 liu hosi dalan resolve konflitu, haburas demokrasia, direitus humanus, oportunidade vida ekonomia, halakon moras hadian saude mental; no hanorin agricultor sira atu hadian sira nia produsaun produtu. Centru ida ne'e mos halao ona observacao ba eleisaun hamotuk 67 iha paises 27.  Hakarak hatene liu tan kona ba Carter Center, bele ba visita ami nia website:www.cartercenter.org.

A woman votes in East Timor's parliamentary elections on June 30.
Carter Center Photo: Maxine Hicks

A woman votes in East Timor's parliamentary elections on June 30.

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