Dili, 25 January 2002


A milestone in the "Timorization'' of the nation's electoral process was reached today as 150 District Electoral Officers (DEOs) completed a training course in Dili.

UNTAET's Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) - set up to administer the elections for the Constituent Assembly held on 30 August 2001 - has emphasized training and capacity building of East Timorese election workers in the run-up to the nation's first-ever presidential election on 14 April.

Unlike last year's elections, East Timorese will hold a majority of seats on the IEC's Board of Commissioners, run the district offices of the Chief Electoral Officer and participate in the counting of the ballots.

The East Timorese DEOs will be in charge of half of the polling centres in the country during the election. International electoral officers will be in charge of the other half.

The presidential election will be the third UN-administered ballot in East Timor and the last before the nation marks its independence on 20 May.

The presidential election schedule is as follows:

16 January Electoral Regulation approved
4-7 February Electoral Commissioners arrive
4 February Registration of political parties and candidate nomination begins
18 February Accreditation of electoral observer groups begins
23 February Last day for application for registration of political parties and for nomination of candidates
2 March Last day for inspection and objections to party registration applications and candidate nominations
4 March Final list of candidates
11 March Accreditation of political party agents begins
15 March Electoral campaign period begins
30 March Last day for registration of electoral observer groups
6 April Last day for nomination of electoral observers and accreditation of political party agents
12 April Last day of electoral campaign period
14 April Election day
17 April Count of vote completed, and announcement of final results
21 April Certification of results and announcement of certified results


The Constituent Assembly has released a detailed schedule for the civil review and final passage of East Timor's first Constitution. The debate on the 151 individual articles of the Constitution is expected to end next week.

The schedule is as follows:

28-31 January Systematisation and harmonisation of the text and development of a preamble for the Constitution. The Constituent Assembly's Systematisation and Harmonisation Commission will work through the text of the draft and correct technical errors. A group of members will also draft a preamble for the Constitution.
1-4 February Approval of the global text. Members will provisionally approve the global text of the Constitution and the preamble.
5-8 February Constituent Assembly members and secretariat prepare for the public information process. Members of the CA will prepare to go out into the districts to disseminate the Constitution to the people. The CA's secretariat will prepare the logistics for the information campaign and publish and distribute copies of the draft Constitution.
11-15 February Explanation of the Constitution to the civil society. The 88 members of the CA will divide into 13 groups made up of people from different political parties. These groups will visit the districts and sub-districts to explain the Constitution and to listen to the views to the people.
18 February Preparing reports. Each group will compile a report in which they record the concerns and suggestions people might have about the content of the Constitution.
19 February Presentation of the group reports. Each group will present their reports to the plenary.
20-23 February Study, analysis and synthesis of reports. The reports will be discussed in plenary and compiled into a single document.
25-26 February Appraisal of the elaborated report. Members will study the final report and discuss its content.
28 February-4 March Finalisation of the text of the Constitution. Members will work at finalising the Constitution and, where necessary, include changes and alterations proposed by the people during the information process.
5-6 March Final appraisal. Members will study and debate the Constitution in preparation for the final approval of the text.
6-8 March Preparation of the formal session.
9 March Global and final approval of the Constitution during the formal session. Members will approve the Constitution before the formal signing session which will take place on the same day.