International Peace Cooperation Assignment for East Timorese Election Observation


Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
(Gained independence from the Republic of Indonesia in 2002)


On April 14, 2002, a presidential election was held in East Timor under the auspices of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor ( UNTAET ). Upon the request of the UN , Japan dispatched 8 election observers (4 national government officials and 4 individuals from the private sector ). They checked the campaigning and election preparations in Dili, Liquica, and Manatuto Districts. On election day they visited and observed voting at a total of 14 polling stations, and the next day they observed the vote counting process.

Election Observers

A poster urging people to vote(img)

A poster urging people to vote

An electoral observer checking the state of election preparations(img)

An election observer checking
the preparations

Two election observers left Japan on April 7 and arrived in Timor-Leste the following day. Their duties included collecting information from UNTAET , UNDP , and other relevant organizations and conducting local surveys. The remaining six personnel, including four from the private sector, left Japan on April 9 and arrived in Timor-Leste the following day. The observers monitored campaigning and election preparations in Dili, Manatuto, and Liquica Districts. On the polling day the election observers monitored voting at 14 polling stations in the above three districts and announced that in their view the election had in general been conducted freely and fairly. The following day they monitored ballot counting. All the election observers completed their duties by April 17 and returned to Japan. All in all, voting and ballot counting were carried out smoothly and peacefully. According to the final results announced by UNTAET on April 17, about 370,000 votes were cast representing a voter turnout of about 86%. The high turnout is an indication of the enthusiasm of the East Timorese for the democratic process. On the basis of the election outcome, on May 20 Xanana Gusmao was inaugurated as president of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, the first act of the new country established in the twenty-first century.

Deployment of Election Observers

Distribution of Electoral Observers(img)