24 September 2016

East Timor Government conducts public information campaign ahead of local elections

ETLJB 24 September 2016  Source: Government of East Timor Press Release Dili, 23 September, 2016 - The Government is conducting a public information campaign on the new Law of Sucos and the upcoming local elections to be held on the 29th of October 2016. The Ministry of State Administration and the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration [STAE] is reaching out across Timor-Leste’s 12 municipalities and the Special Zone of Oé-Cusse Ambeno, to the nation’s 442 Sucos and 2,225 Aldeias [villages] in order to prepare the electorate for this significant exercise of citizen’s democratic rights. On the 29th of October, eligible voters in each Aldeia will elect a female and male delegate to represent their Aldeia in the local Suco Council, their Aldeia Chief and the Suco Chief.

The Government and the new Suco Law encourages the participation of women in community leadership roles, including as applicants for the role of Aldeia Chief and Suco Chief. Each of the nation’s 442 Suco Councils will subsequently convene on the 30th of October to determine the final results of the Suco Chief’s election. If a second round is necessary to determine a Suco Chief it will take place on the 13th of November. Depending on the need for a second round of voting for a Suco Chief, Suco Council’s will meet on either the 9th of November or the 24th of November to elect a lian-na’in [traditional authority] and a male and female youth representative to their Council. Each Suco Council will then be fully established, made up of the Suco Chief, the Aldeia Chiefs of the Suco, a female delegate from each of the Suco’s Aldeias, a male delegate from each of the Suco’s Aldeias, a female youth representative of the Suco, a male youth representative of the Suco and a ‘lian-na’in’.

The full calendar for the local elections is available on the Government Portal.
As a part of the process of decentralization, Sucos have been exercising a leading role in the design and implementation of local infrastructure projects under the National Suco Development Program [PNDS] and the Integrated Municipal Development Planning [IMDP]. Capacity building and structural preparation has also begun in earnest to set the foundations for local government representation at the municipal level in coming years. These measures for decentralization are based on the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Strategic Development Plan 2011-2030, and form an important part of the

Program of the Sixth Constitutional Government.
The next elections to follow the upcoming local election this year will be the Presidential elections to be conducted in the first half of 2017 followed by the Parliamentary elections.
Government Spokesperson, Minister of State Agio Pereira, thanked all in advance of the upcoming
community leaders election for their engagement in this democratic process noting “the opportunity to vote in secret and with dignity for the local representative of our choosing is an opportunity not afforded to our people in the long years of struggle. That is why we appreciate this opportunity to exercise our hard won democratic freedoms in the weeks ahead.” ENDS

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