East Timor Popular Consultation


Under the Terms of the Agreement between the Republic of Indonesia, the Portuguese Republic and the Secretary-General of the United Nations regarding the modalities for popular consultation of the East Timorese through a direct ballot, the United Nations is charged with the responsibility of carrying out and administering the consultation process. In being expedient to regulate the observation of the consultation process is developed to regulate and guide observers in their observation of the Popular Consultation for East Timor.


1. For the purposes of this code, the term "observer" means any person who has been accredited as such by the Chief Electoral Officer of UNAMET.

2. A person shall not act as an observer until he or she has been duly accredited. Both the individual and the observer group must be accredited.

Scope of the Observation and Reporting

3. Observation of the consultation process consists essentially of the following activities:

(a) To observe and evaluate the impartiality of the functioning of the Electoral Commission and its officers;

(b) To observe and assess the impartiality and legality of the decisions taken by the Electoral Commission and its officers in settling disputes arising out of the consultation process;

(c) To observe the registration process;

(d) To observe the course of the campaign and compliance of the supporters and opponents of autonomy to the Code of Conduct for supporters and opponents of autonomy;

(e) To observe the voting process, especially the compliance with the procedures established in the Directions issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for the administration of the consultation process;

(f) To observe the movement and security of sensitive polling material;

(g) To observe the vote count, determination of the results;

(h) To observe that the access to, and use of the media is fair;

(i) Observer groups shall report any irregularity noted in the consultation process to the Electoral Commission, which will examine any activities reported as being irregular. At the end of the consultation process observer groups are encouraged to provide the Electoral Commission with a detailed report of their overall findings.

Organization and Deployment of Observer Groups

4. The structure of the organization and direction of the internal activities of observer groups shall depend on the decisions taken by each organization or institution. Each observer group shall officially notify the Electoral Commission of that structure and the observers deployed in each region.

5. Each observer group duly accredited shall be solely responsible for all support arrangements and costs in their observing duties (transport, communications, lodging); the United Nations shall not be responsible for any such costs. Furthermore, no observer group or observer may utilize any United Nations resources, such as facilities or motor vehicles.

Accreditation and Identification of Observer Groups and Observers

6. Only groups accredited by the Chief Electoral Officer shall be granted the status of observers. All such groups shall submit an application for the accreditation of each of their observers, in accordance with the accreditation procedures and forms established for each group.

7. Following accreditation, each observer will be issued an identification card by the Chief Electoral Officer. It is compulsory for every observer to visibly and prominently wear this identification at all times while they are performing their functions as observers.

8. The Chief Electoral Officer may revoke accreditation of any accredited observer group or individual when, in his view, the observer has violated the provisions of this Code.

Rights and Privileges of Observers

9. Observers have the following rights and privileges:

(a) to enjoy freedom of movement throughout the country, without prior permission or notification, except as required by Indonesian law;

(b) to communicate freely with all the groups participating in the consultation process;

(c) to seek clarification and timely answers from all the structures involved in the consultation process, on matters within the context of the scope of observation in this Code of Conduct;

(d) to observe the campaign, the movement, use and disposal of sensitive electoral material (ballot boxes and ballot papers, etc), the vote, the vote count, issuance and dissemination of election results, and the access to and use of the media;

(e) to examine the documentation related to the registration of voters, voting and the issuance or results;

(f) to communicate any specific concerns they may have to members of the various structures of the consultation process;

(g) to have freedom of access to all polling and counting centres at all times;

(h) to communicate, according to the provisions of these guidelines, the findings of their observation to the members of the various institutions involved with the consultation process.

Duties and Obligations of Observers

10. Observers have the following duties and obligations:

(a) to exercise their role with impartiality, independence and objectivity in the conduct of their duties, and shall at no time indicate or express any bias, or preference with reference to any group in the consultation process;

(b) to ensure that their conduct strictly conforms to the laws of Indonesia, and that they immediately comply with any regulations or directions issued by or under the authority of the United Nations with reference the consultation process, including any request to leave or refrain from entering a particular area or venue, or to depart from a polling or counting station, or any specified area thereof;

(c) to refrain from slanderous or defamatory public statements regarding the consultation process;

(d) to respect the role, status and authority of electoral officials, and exhibit a respectful and courteous attitude to electoral officials and voters;

(e) shall, when so requested, identify themselves immediately to any interested person, especially to a United Nations electoral official when entering a polling station or other United Nations Space, structure or building;

(f) shall at all times wear or otherwise prominently display the Electoral Commission identification badge;

(g) observers shall refrain from carrying, wearing and displaying any campaign material or any article of clothing, emblem, colours, badges or other item denoting support for or opposition to any group participating in the consultation process;

(h) not to interfere in, or impede, the normal course of the consultation process, in particular the work of United Nations electoral officials;

(i) on polling day, observers shall specifically refrain from communicating with voters, with a view to influencing them on how to vote, or attempting to establish how they have voted, or in any other manner interfering with the secrecy and orderly conduct of the voting process, this includes not entering the secret polling booth;

(j) not to observe the vote count in a way that interferes or obstructs the count;

(k) refrain from announcing election results without the authority of the Electoral Commission, and subject to the duty to report all matters to the Commission and their respective observer organizations. All observers shall maintain due secrecy with reference to any matters affecting voting and counting;

(l) to refrain from issuing statements to the media about the consultation process as individuals;

(m) to refrain from adjudicating disputes, certifying results, or providing written statements as evidence to be used in relation to dispute resolution;

(n) to refrain from attempting, without permission, to provide guidance or information to persons involved in the administration of the consultation process, and from providing interpretations of the applicable law;

(o) shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that all material, information or reports which they receive, and any event, occurrence, or statement of which they may be notified or which they may have directly experienced or observed, which indicate the possible violation of the directions issued for the administration of the consultation process or infringement of any of the Codes of Conduct issued with regard to this consultation, or of this Code, including allegations of dishonesty, corruption, intimidation or violence, are brought to the attention of the Electoral Commission. Save as provided therein, observers shall refrain from intervening to address such matters at their own initiative

11. Observer groups have a duty to fully brief their observers on the electoral process and the provisions of this Code of Conduct prior to commencing any observation.