DILI, March 2022 – Today, the United States—through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting the Consortium for Elections and Political Processes (CEPPS) partners, the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) and their local partners to support a variety of activities in support of a free and fair election thorough Supporting Sound, Representative 2022 Presidential Elections in Timor-Leste Activity. The presidential election in March 2022 will be the first election held in Timor-Leste during the pandemic. To quickly address urgent challenges in advance of this election, USAID Voter education and outreach initiatives will engage women, youth, rural voters and other traditionally marginalized communities, and the support of a domestic election observation mission will help to ensure electoral integrity.

According to USAID Mission Director in Timor-Leste Ms. Zema Semunegus,“Given the current challenges to Asia’s democratic future, USAID believes that it must bolster democracy assistance to countries like Timor-Leste with demonstrated commitment to the strengthening of their democratic institutions and culture. In support of these efforts, USAID is delighted to provide $500,000 to CEPPS partners, IRI and IFES to assist Timor-Leste to facilitate free, fair and credible Presidential elections. As we witness democratic erosion in many parts of Southeast Asia, this is a critical time historically to ensure that Timor-Leste’s democracy thrives.”

The Supporting Sound, Representative 2022 Presidential Elections in Timor-Leste Activity will utilize its successful televised talk show Ko’alia Ba Ha’u! (“Talk to Me!”) on television, radio and social media to distribute important election information widely to voters across Timor-Leste, including rural voters. It will also work with Timorese partners to produce and broadcast content for traditional media educating Timorese citizens on voting processes and their political choices. The Supporting Sound, Representative 2022 Presidential Elections in Timor-Leste Activity will also conduct an online voter education campaign, in partnership with Timorese sub-awardees, to provide critical information and motivate people to take part in the elections, with a particular focus on targeting youth and persons with disabilities. All voter education and domestic observation activities will be implemented in close coordination with Timor-Leste’s National Election Commission (CNE) and the Technical Secretariat for Election Administration (STAE).

Parliamentary Election in Timor-Leste
The country ran its 2017 parliamentary and presidential elections successfully with little violence and peaceful transfers of power independent of international supervision for the first time. CEPPS was among the key international organizations supporting the elections.