Sumario: March 27, 2002: EU to observe first Presidential Election in East Timor (Brussels)
The European Commission is funding an EU Election Observation Mission (EOM) to the first Presidential election in East Timor on 14 April 2002. John Bowis MEP will be the EU's Chief Observer. The Commission has also decided to continue last year's programme of civic education in order to promote the participation of the East Timorese population in political life.
Following the Constituent Assembly Elections last year, the first Presidential Election on 14 April 2002 marks an important step for East Timor on its path to independent statehood. While this year's election will still take place under the auspices of the UN Transitional Administration for East Timor (UNTAET), many powers and functions have been devolved to Timorese authorities. The elected President, one of two nominated candidates, will take office on Independence Day, 20 May 2002.
The EU is sending observers in response to an invitation from the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello. The purpose of the EUEOM is to assess the electoral process, to deter possible abuses through its very presence and to strengthen public confidence in the election. EC financial support to a multilateral civic and voter education programme aims at promoting sustainable democracy in East Timor. Funding for the EUEOM and civic education projects amounts to € 510,000.
The EUEOM is covering the whole election period, including the election campaign, the ballot, the count, the announcement of results and their certification. The Mission will consist of a Core Team with four experts, four Long-Term Observers (LTOs) and 20 Short-Term Observers (STOs), drawn from the Member States. Three core team members have already been deployed in Dili and have set up the Mission headquarters. The LTOs will arrive on 28 March and the Chief Observer on 3 April 2002. The STOs, whose main task is to observe the poll and the count, will arrive in Dili on 6 April and be posted in all 13 districts. Further details about the EOM and its activities are available at: http://www.eueom.org
Mr. John Bowis, Chief Observer, has served as Member of the European Parliament since 1999. In this capacity, he is also Member of the Joint Parliamentary Assembly of the Agreement between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States and the European Union (ACP-EU). His previous positions include those of Minister for Transport and Minister for Health in the United Kingdom. Mr. Bowis has also taken part in UN missions, observing voter registration in Namibia and the independence referendum in Eritrea.
More details about the EU's support for East Timor are available at: