Timor-Leste: UNDP boosts electoral institutions’ ability to ensure peaceful polls

09 Jul 2012

image A woman holds her voter registration card whilst waiting to vote in Timor-Leste's 2012 parliamentary elections. (photo by Sandra Magno / UNDP Timor-Leste)

As Timorese went to the polls 7 July to vote in parliamentary elections it became clear that there has been a lot of progress in strengthening the country’s electoral system in the past years. The recent parliamentary elections and the two rounds of presidential polls, earlier this year, took place with a reduced number of UN electoral staff: from 600 in 2007 to only 170 in 2012. National electoral bodies have been increasingly taking charge of the process, with more responsibilities.

The enhanced capacity of the Timorese electoral bodies to ensure smooth-running elections is greatly due to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste’s support. The joint project provided the national electoral management bodies with advice and training in electoral planning, legal matters, logistics, information technology, civic and voter education, public information, finance and management. The project is also training political parties and developing electoral resource centres in five key districts.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people, Government and political parties of Timor-Leste for the peaceful and orderly manner in which the country held parliamentary elections. Mr. Ban also commended the national authorities—especially the electoral institutions and the police forces—for maintaining a stable environment throughout the electoral process.

The UNDP Timorese Electoral Cycle Project is funded by Japan, Norway, Irish Aid, the Swedish International Development Agency and UNDP.

Final election results are expected late this week.