Brussels, 14 June 2007. The European Commission is deploying an EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to the Parliamentary elections in Timor Leste, scheduled for 30 June 2007. The mission is led by the Spaniard Javier Pomés, Member of the European Parliament, who also led the EU EOM sent earlier this year to observe the country's Presidential elections (9th April, 9th May). The decision to deploy EOMs to Timor-Leste to observe both elections was prompted by an invitation from the government last year.
Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: "This mission confirms our continuous strong support to Timor Leste. The recent Presidential elections, which were held peacefully and were conducted reasonably well by the national authorities, mark a major step towards the stabilization of this young country. We are confident that the next Parliamentary elections will further confirm this trend".
Following the preliminary report of the EU EOM to the Presidential elections, a number of recommendations to further streamline the electoral process have been formulated to the Timorese government. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner commented: "I am pleased that the Timorese authorities have followed some of the recommendations made by our EOM in April and that these have been introduced in the electoral law ruling the parliamentary elections. This demonstrates their commitment to move forward on the path of democracy."
The EU EOM team, led by the Chief Observer, comprises 7 core team members and will be joined shortly by 28 long-term observers, who will follow the campaign and the organisation of the elections throughout the country. A delegation of Members of the European Parliament will join the mission over election day.
The EU is also supporting the electoral process through a €1.5 million contribution to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
For additional information, see also:
The EU's Human rights & Democratisation Policy - Election Observation Missions: http://ec.europa.eu/comm/external_relations/human_rights/eu_election_ass_observ/index.htm
EU - Timor Leste relations: http://ec.europa.eu/development/Geographical/RegionsCountries/Countries/Timor-Leste.htm
European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR): http://www.europa.eu.int/comm/europeaid/projects/eidhr/index_en.htm