UNDP -IDEA give input to stakeholders on Covid Resilient for 2022 Presidential Election

UNDP -IDEA give input to stakeholders on Covid Resilient for 2022 Presidential Election

(image Tatoli/ Egas Cristovao)

DILI, 16 september, 2021 (TATOLI)-The National Commission on Elections (CNE) and the Technical Secretariat of Electoral Administration (STAE) hosted a high-level workshop, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International IDEA, to discuss the preparations for conducting COVID-19 resilient presidential election to be held in March 2022.

During the event, the group of electoral experts from International IDEA exposed that Timor-Leste’s health system is very delicate in terms of COVID-19 prevention. “It is important for Timor-Leste to provide a contingency plan that involve line Ministers on working for a COVID-19 resilient election in 2022,” said Michael Maley from IDEA.

Maley also suggested, in order to prevent further transmission of COVID-19, the country should carry out online activities for voters and reduce the onsite events such as political party campaign gatherings.

Moreover, Maley added that it is important to protect electoral polling staff on voting days, as they are the main persons to bring about successful elections. However, all recommendations must be adapted to the electoral laws in Timor-Leste.

On the other hand, the General Director of Health Services Provision from the Ministry of Health, Odete Viegas, agreed on contemplating a COVID-resilient contingency plan that involve development partners to back up the vaccination process in Timor-Leste. She mentioned that the data report from MoH shows that the 54% of the population has received the first shot of the vaccine while the 31% has been fully vaccinated.

In addition, Viegas asked the election authorities to pay attention to health protection from COVID-19, by requesting that every polling station should comply health protocols such as handwashing, social distancing, and mask use.

The General Director of STAE, Acilino Manuel Branco, said that this institution is working on COVID prevention actions to face upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Jose Belo, President of the National Election Commission (CNE), expressed that Timor-Leste is committed to have periodic elections. He also affirmed that the Election Management Bodies should be trained and properly prepared for the upcoming electoral process. “Today’s meeting is to enhance the capacity of all staff to have a better preparation for the presidential election”, he said.

During the session, the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Ms. Lazima Onta- Bhatta, made a final intervention highlighting the important ideas, inputs, and experiences that were shared.

The Covid-resilient Election Project is funded by the Government of Japan, and includes actions such as Covid-resilient infrastructure, election manuals and guidelines production, youth and women inclusion promotion among other activities.

Journalist: Jose Belarmino de Sa

Editor: Nelia Borges


Comments are closed.

error: Content is protected !!