Last evening, STAE saw the observers off with a gracious reception, presided over by Tomas Cabral, STAE's Director General, and with thanks and good wishes from Finn Riske-Nielsen, Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, along with representatives of other diplomatic missions whose compatriots are observing the parliamentary election.
Today, ETAN's volunteers join their Timorese NGO colleagues as they begin to move out to the districts to monitor the voting on Saturday, July 7. The Viqueque team departs this afternoon; other teams leave tomorrow morning for Baucau and Liquica.
What are we expecting to see? What are we watching for? What are we hoping for?
Starting with the last question - we're hoping, above all, for "free, fair and transparent" - the watchwords of a democratic election process. Asosiasaun HAK, with whom ETAN is observing in Viqueque and Baucau, developed the following objectives:
|Photo by John M. Miller/ETAN|
To observe how:
- Citizens rights to free and secure elections are guaranteed. The State has a duty to ensure elections run well.
- The entitlement to live in peace is safeguarded.
- The people or voters are free to exercise their rights.
- Is there a gender balance amongst the polling staff?
- Is there separation of the sexes in the voting line?
- Were pregnant women or women nursing small children adequately attended to?
- Did the media interview females?