Monday, April 9, 2012

Observing Timor's Parliamentary Election

UPDATE: The President has announced that the Parliamentary election will take place on Saturday, July 7

Join, support ETAN observers

Dear Friends,

ETAN will be observing the Timor-Leste's coming parliamentary election in Timor-Leste. We hope you will join and support us.

Civil society organizations in Timor-Leste have invited ETAN to support an election process which is transparent, free and fair. Based on our two decades of experience, we have been asked to facilitate an international delegation of trained, non-partisan observers to witness and report on the parliamentary election: its preparation, campaigns, voting, and counting through the announcement and aftermath of the results. We will focus on more than just the mechanics of the vote. Too often, democracy is narrowly equated with elections. We are acting in solidarity with the people of Timor-Leste to strengthen the breadth of its democracy. 

President Jose Ramos-Horta welcomed ETAN's initiative writing "The presence of ETAN and its allies will be invaluable," adding:
"It is... essential for ETAN to use its skills and experience to send trained, sensitive non-partisan observers for our 2012 national elections, which will build and strengthen our young democracy... ETAN's commitment, solidarity and experience are unparalleled."
In 1999, ETAN played a key role in organizing the largest international observer delegation to Timor's historic independence referendum. ETAN has been present at every Timor-Leste election since. In 2007, ETAN was critical to the formation and leadership of the Solidarity Observer Mission for East Timor (SOMET), a grassroots project of five international NGOs and six non-partisan groups in Timor-Leste which brought together international and Timorese observers for the country's first national election. 

The exact date for the parliamentary election will not be announced until after a new President is elected, it is likely to be during the last week in June or in early July.

We are writing to urge you consider joining ETAN's Solidarity Observer Project as a volunteer observer. If you can't come, we urge you to support this and other important ETAN projects with a donation. (Make a donation via Paypal here or go to for how to make a U.S. tax-deductible donation or details on how to donate by mail.)

We need observers before election day to observe the preparations and campaign period. The bulk of observers are needed for the weeks immediately preceding and following the voting. Depending upon the actual election date, that period could extend into mid to late July. An ongoing team will do follow-up reporting, evaluation, and closing of the project during July-August. ETAN will help find housing for volunteers coming from outside Timor-Leste, but we are asking our observers to cover their own expenses, including international travel, visas, food, and a contribution toward the housing cost.

To apply to be an ETAN Observer, please send us a note of your interest to; then download and return the Application Questionnaire: Word file, PDF file. Please read it thoroughly before completing it; it includes estimated costs of participation and other requirements. Please use additional pages as necessary to complete the Application Questionnaire, and return it to by Monday, APRIL 30, 2012.

You can find the Code of Conduct for project participant and other important forms at Please note that, by returning the Application Questionnaire, you are affirming your intent, should you be accepted by the project to sign and agree to the Code of Conduct and the Release of Liability, and that you understand that you will be asked either to bring these signed documents with you when you come to Timor-Leste, or will sign them in the presence of project staff upon your arrival; and to bring with you to Timor-Leste the signed Medical Release form.

We are in urgent need of funds to cover this project's costs and make it a success. Please make a contribution today! If you have ideas about potential funding sources? please share them with us!

Please contact us, if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you for your support!

In solidarity,

John M. Miller, National Coordinator
Elice Higginbotham, Solidarity Observer Project Coordinator
East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

Make a donation via Paypal here


How to Donate 

You can donate safely by credit card through ETAN's website: Or you can mail your donation. To support ETAN's political advocacy work, write a check made out to "ETAN." For ETAN's educational efforts, tax-deductible donations of over $50 can be made out to "A.J. Muste Memorial Institute/ETAN." Please mail your donations to: East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), PO Box 21873, Brooklyn, NY 11202-1873.

Thank you for your support!