Solidarity Observer Mission
for East Timor (SOMET)
HAK Association building
Avenida Gov. Serpa Rosa, Farol, Dili, Timor-Leste
International Election Monitors Gather in Dili
Dili Jill Sternberg or Ruby Rose Lora, +670-331-3324 or
+670-734-2535 or +670-732-3838. email:
International: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668; +1-917-690-4391;
April 2007 – An international delegation of election observers,
has gathered this week in Dili to monitor Timor-Leste’s April 9
Presidential election. The Solidarity Observer Mission for East
Timor (SOMET), a coalition of grassroots groups working to support
new nation’s fragile democracy, will maintain a continuous presence
until the results of this month’s presidential contest and upcoming
parliamentary election are implemented.
“SOMET supports a free, fair and peaceful democratic process. We
plan to stay in East Timor until the last vote is counted and the
results are implemented,” said Jill Sternberg, SOMET Coordinator.
“If we see shortcomings in the process we will advocate with the
appropriate official bodies to correct them,” she added.
Working cooperatively with nonpartisan East Timorese
organizations, SOMET will observe and report on all aspects,
positive and negative, of Timor-Leste’s 2007 elections.
“We will act in an independent manner, not taking the side of any
party or candidate,” said Catharina Maria, SOMET Dili Coordinator.
“All SOMET observers are bound by a
code of conduct that stresses
our non-partisanship and neutrality.”
International solidarity groups organized the non-partisan
observer mission at the urging of civil society organizations in
Timor-Leste. Many of the observers have long history with
Timor-Leste, election observation or both. Several participated in
the International Federation for East Timor’s Observer Project, the
largest the largest international observer delegation for the 1999
“Solidarity is not just for elections. Our observers will return
to their homes with a deeper understanding of Timor-Leste and a
commitment to strengthening ongoing ties with the new nation,” added
SOMET is a grassroots project of the U.S.-based East Timor and
Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), Stichting Vrij Oost Timor (VOT)
of the Netherlands, Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC), and
World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA).
If no candidate in Monday’s presidential contest gains more than
50% of the vote, a run off will take place on May 9. Timor-Leste’s
current president has said he will not announce the date of the
parliamentary election until a new president has been selected. The
parliamentary election can not take place until 80 days after it is
More information can be found online at see