Dili, Timor-Leste – IRI has partnered with Observatorio da Igreja Para Os Assuntos Socials (OIPAS) to train domestic observers and support its domestic observation mission of Timor-Leste’s presidential election scheduled for March 17, 2012. IRI and OIPAS are training observers with the goal of training up to 1,700 to post two observers at every polling station in each of Timor-Leste’s 13 administrative districts.
Observers will receive training in electoral procedures, such as storage and transport of ballots, the set-up of the polling stations, voting and ballot counting and will be instructed to write incident reports documenting any irregularities they may witness. After the election, OIPAS will compile each of the observers’ reports and submit a comprehensive report to the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration.
IRI was the first nongovernmental organization to work directly with civil society and political parties in Timor-Leste, and the only organization to do so continuously since 2000. IRI’s work focuses on strengthening political parties, initially helping prepare them for the 2001 constituent assembly and the 2002 presidential elections. IRI’s current initiative focuses on fostering meaningful and responsive representation by helping political parties to identify pressing citizen concerns and then generate and communicate issue-based party platforms that respond to those concerns. IRI is also works with civil society to promote accountability, transparency and credibility in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.
OIPAS is a Dili-based nongovernment organization founded in 2007 to develop Timor-Leste’s internal capacity to observe domestic elections. OIPAS operates under the Catholic Church and is a member of the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors. As part of a wider coalition of nongovernment organizations, OIPAS successfully observed the 2007 presidential and 2009 suco elections in Timor-Leste.
Financial support for this effort comes from the United States Agency for International Development.