Timor-Leste elects new President of the Republic

Francisco Guterres, “Lú-Olo”, was elected President of Timor-Leste. The candidate supported by the two largest Timorese parties (Fretilin and CNRT) collected 57.08% of the votes according to STAE data that will have to be approved by the CNE.

These were the first national elections that Timorese authorities organized without UN support.

At the request of Timorese authorities, the European Union participated with a team of observers. The head of the observation mission, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica MEP, presented a preliminary provisional analysis of the electoral act, underlining the normality and respect for the democratic procedures that marked the whole process. “The electoral authorities have demonstrated the ability to organize their first elections without external support, in a transparent manner and with guarantees during all stages of the process, registration, voting and counting,”.

Among the areas that could be improved, the MEP referred to the method of control by the use of indelible ink – to avoid voters voting twice – the systematic non-delivery of voting minutes to the candidates’ representatives and the issue of funding.

MEP Ana Gomes considers that these elections represented a step in the consolidation of democracy in the country. “We were generally very impressed with the management and organization of the electoral act which took place peacefully and quietly. We were particularly pleased with the competence demonstrated by the members of the polling station, noting that many were women and young people,” she said.

Overall, the EU has made a very positive assessment of the exercise of the elections. But also warns of the risks of corruption by the funding of campaigns and political parties for economic, domestic and foreign interests.

During the visit to Timor-Leste, MEPs met with candidates,  electoral authorities, civil society, the President of the National Parliament, the Prime Minister and other individuals such as the former head of state, José Ramos-Horta and the bishop of Baucau, Basilio do Nascimento.

The leaders of the Democratic Party (PD), who supported the second-best candidate in the Timorese presidential elections António da Conceição, congratulated Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo for the victory at the first round of Monday’s vote.

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