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Mandate and Principles

SOMET Mandate

1.      Observe and report on the election process, both positive and negative aspects, for the 2007 presidential and parliamentary elections in Timor-Leste.

2.      Accompany the Timorese people before, during and after the elections.

3.      Respond to requests from and cooperate with non-partisan Timorese civil society organizations.

4.      Liaise and cooperate with other observer groups and civil society organizations where appropriate.

5.      Advocate to correct problems in the electoral process.

6.      Build and strengthen relationships between SOMET observers and our communities and the people of Timor-Leste, primarily at the grassroots level.

7.      Educate people in our countries about Timor-Leste.

SOMET General Principles

1.     Adherence to the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (RDTL) and support for the Rule of Law: The people of Timor-Leste have a right to an open, free and fair democratic election process as established by their constitution and laws, electoral regulations, and Codes of Conduct. Our effort supports the right of the East Timorese people to participate in elections free of threats and intimidation, without fear of reprisals or violence.

2.      Non-partisanship/neutrality: We act in an independent manner, not taking the side of any party to the elections. Through listening and respecting all perspectives, we are able to form a better understanding of the situation and carry out our mandate. Nonpartisanship does not, however, mean indifference or passivity toward injustice or towards violations of any individual’s basic human rights.

3.      Local empowerment and self-determination: These two elections in Timor-Leste, for president and parliament, will be managed by the government of RDTL; they should be a manifestation of the Timorese people’s right to self-determination and empower the population by democratically choosing their next leaders. SOMET sees the elections as important milestones in the process of nation building for Timor-Leste.

4.     Embrace human rights principles and laws: In their struggle for independence, people of Timor-Leste relied on international human rights principles. We are committed to the implementation of international human rights standards by the government of RDTL and by international bodies operating in Timor-Leste.

5.     Non-violence and support for the peaceful resolution of conflicts: We give the highest consideration to human life. We are committed to and support the nonviolent transformation of the conflicts in Timor-Leste and everywhere.

6.      Solidarity: We are volunteers committed to developing international ties between people of Timor-Leste and individuals and groups around the world that deepen our mutual understanding of our shared destiny in an interdependent world. There is much we can learn from one another by forging genuine and respectful relationships.