The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP


Media Release

FA47 / 7 April 2002

Australia to Send Observers to Presidential Elections in East Timor

I am pleased to announce that Australia will send a parliamentary observer delegation to East Timor's presidental elections to be held on 14 April 2002.

Election of a president will be a significant event in East Timor's transition to independence. Australia is pleased to play a part in building a strong democracy in East Timor. Significantly, this will be the first time that the East Timorese themselves will manage the electoral process since the advent of UN involvement in East Timor.

Australia will send a four-member parliamentary delegation led by Senator Marise Payne. Other members will be Mr Luke Hartsuyker, Senator Vicki Bourne and Senator Jan McLucas. The delegation, accompanied by an official from my Department, will be deployed to Maliana in the Bobonaro district in the west of East Timor. The Australian Mission in East Timor will observe the elections in Dili.

Australia is fully supporting East Timor's transition to independence and has allocated $150 million in bilateral aid to this end, beginning in 2000-01 over four years. This aid includes support for programs to help develop democratic institutions and electoral processes. Through the aid program, the Australian Electoral Commission has been providing technical assistance to build East Timorese capacity for this election. Australia has also contributed to UN and UNDP civic education and constitutional consultation programs.

I wish the people of East Timor all the best for these elections and assure them of Australia's continued support in building their democracy.

Media inquiries: Matt Francis (Ministerial) 02 6277 7500 / Julie McDonald (Departmental) 02 6261 1555


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:30:17 EST


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