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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs
Title Elections, independence, democracy: the 2012 Timorese electoral cycle in context
Author(s)
Volume 31
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2013
Page numbers 29-57
URL http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/giga/files/journals/4/articles/569/public/569-594-1-PB.pdf
Abstract
Timor-Leste rose to independence following a path that included
three electoral processes organized under the auspices of the UN and has
thus got elections imprinted on its own genetic code. After independence,
the responsibility for electoral processes – a key aspect of the sovereignty of
the Timorese people – was passed to the nation’s authorities, who organized
two full rounds of presidential and legislative elections in 2007 and 2012
with the assistance of the international community. This effort constitutes a
major element in the process of granting the new regime internal and external
legitimacy and at the same time is a response both to citizens’ perception
of the political game in order to secure their empowerment and to the call
for transparent, internationally acknowledged procedures. Initially, this essay
analyses the legal and administrative framework for Timorese elections,
bearing these competing requirements in mind. It then focuses on the 2012
elections: first, on the two rounds of presidential elections, including the
intricate relationship between presidential candidacies and political parties,
and then on the results of the legislative poll, which had a major impact on
the political landscape. The final section deals with the challenges that lie
ahead for the coming political cycle (2012–2017).

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