European Union Election Observation Mission
Timor-Leste 2017


09/02/2017 - 12:01
About us - structure and organisation

Following an invitation from the authorities of Timor-Leste, the European Union (EU) has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to observe the Presidential and Legislative Elections, which will be held, respectively, on 20 March 2017, with a possible second round on the 20 April, and in July 2017. The EU EOM is led by Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, a member of the European Parliament (MEP).

Our mandate

The EU EOM is politically independent from the EU Delegation in Dili and from EU Member States. The mission's mandate is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process and to assess the extent to which the elections complies with domestic laws as well as international standards and regional commitments for democratic elections agreed by Timor-Leste.

The EU Election Observation Missions focuses on all aspects of the election process, including:

  • the legal framework and its implementation
  • the performance of the election administration
  • the role of state institutions and civil society
  • voter registration
  • campaign activities
  • the overall environment of the elections, including respect for fundamental freedoms, civil and political right 
  • the conduct of the media
  • the voting, counting and tabulation
  • the complaints and appeals process
  • the announcement of the results

On Election Day, observers visit polling stations across the country to observe their opening, voting and counting procedures.


Comprehensive methodology

The EU EOM applies an established methodology for observing elections. EU Election Observation Missions do not in any way interfere in the electoral process including by offering advice and assistance. The EU EOM does not legitimise the electoral process nor does it validate the election results. They have the mandate to observe, collect and analyze information concerning the election process and to ensure that all findings and conclusions of the EU EOM are based on carefully verified factual information.

The EU deploys experienced observers who come from a variety of professional backgrounds and provides them with training in the different aspects of election observation. The observers are bound by a code of conduct for EU Election Observers that ensures their neutrality and impartiality.

Observers deployed throughout Timor-Leste

In order to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process, a core team of six election experts was deployed to Dili on 13 February. A data analyst will also join the mission at a later stage. The core team analyses political, electoral, media and legal issues related to the electoral process. A group of 16 Long-term Observers will arrive in Dili on 21 February and will be deployed across the country. An additional 10 long-term observers will be deployed for the legislative elections. A small delegation of the European Parliament will also join the mission shortly before the elections.


Findings of the mission

The information collected by the mission is the basis for a preliminary statement. This statement will be presented in a press conference within 48 hours after the elections, and outlines the EU EOM's initial findings. A comprehensive final report including technical recommendations for future electoral processes will be presented at a later stage. 

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