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Solidarity Observer Mission for East Timor (SOMET)

HAK Association building Avenida Gov. Serpa Rosa, Farol, Dili, Timor-Leste

 
Contacts:  
Dili:
Jill Sternberg or Catharina Maria +670-331-3324 or +670-734-2535 or +670-734-2397
Bronwen Thomas (Media Liaison) +670 734 9979

International: John M. Miller, +1-718-596-7668; +1-917-690-4391; etan@igc.org
 
 
Election Observation Teams to monitor in all 13 Districts for East Timorese election
 
For Immediate Release:
 
June 26, 2007 - The International Solidarity Observer Mission for East Timor (SOMET) has begun deployment of teams to all 13 districts of Timor-Leste ahead of Saturday's Parliamentary elections. A total of 49 accredited observers from 9 countries including Timor-Leste will monitor the final days of campaigning and carry out crucial independent observation at polling stations on election day.
 
 
SOMET Press Conference, June 28. L-R: Jose Luis Oliveira (Association HAK), Elizabeth dos Reis (Bibi Bulak), Bronwyn Thomas (SOMET), Jill Sternberg (ETAN), Santina Soares (La'o Hamutuk), Tito (Concern). Photo by Charles Scheiner.  

The teams consist of fully trained international observers as well as national observers drawn from seven co-operating groups within Timor Leste.
 
"This is an important step in the electoral process" said Jill Sternberg, coordinator of SOMET. "Our teams will be on the ground in all districts to contribute to the goal of this Parliamentary election being as free and fair as possible."
 
On Saturday June 23, SOMET was the only independent international observer group to witness the delivery and transfer of 650 000 ballot papers as they arrived at Nicolas Lobato Airport.
 
SOMET observers also played an integral role in observing both rounds of the presidential elections earlier this year. Their reports identified key areas in the electoral process where improvements were needed and copies of the documents have been provided to electoral officials and to the leaders of the 14 parties contesting the Parliamentary election. The reports from both rounds are available in English and Tetun and can be found here

SOMET is a grassroots project of the U.S.-based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), Free East Timor Foundation (VOT ) in the Netherlands, Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)  and Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) in the Philippines and the World Forum for Democratization in Asia  (WFDA).

SOMET was formed at the invitation of civil society organizations in Timor-Leste to support an election process which is transparent, free and fair. SOMET has partnered with nonpartisan East Timorese and other international observers, reporting on the election process -- paying special attention to civic education, vote casting and counting, and reactions to the results. In Timor-Leste, SOMET cooperates with HAK Association, Timor-Leste NGO Forum, La'o Hamutuk, FOKUPERS, KSI and Bibi Bulak.

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see also Timor Votes in 2007

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