Fundasaun Mahein’s, 24 February 2012
Circumstances allowing the F-FDTL a security role in the 2012 General Election as per the Election Law
Mahein’s Voice No 30 is a discussion on the appropriate role for the F-FDTL in the 2012 general election. This year Timor-Leste will celebrate the democratic festivals that will take place with the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. As such Mahein’s Voice No 30 is an in depth report on the appropriate circumstances for the F-FDTL to assist the PolisiaNasional Timor-Leste (PNTL) during the referred Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
In this report FundasaunMahein questions the presence of the security forces at the polling centers in accordance with regulation 04/STAE/X/2011 on the voting process, vote count andmeasurementof the Presidential and Parliamentary election results.This issue is raised by FM becausearticle 6 paragraphs e) of Regulation 04/STAE/X/2011, which outlined the need for security force presence at polling centers, did not provide a clear justification as to the need for the F-FDTL or PNTL presence at these polling centers.
Even though the presence of F-FDTL is authorized by the national security and internal laws, which outlines F-FDTL assistance under special circumstances, no formal accord has been created to facilitate this cooperation. Even though the presence of the F-FDTL may not be interpreted as taking away the power of the PNTL, as prescribed by the Constitution, FM is concerned that this may lead to the F-FDTLtaking over the function of the PNTL in the ambit of internal security. This confusion, as to the roles of the two institutions, is further complicated by the fact that there is currently no directive from the Ministry of Defence and Security outlining the function of the F-FDTL in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
FM would also like highlight a concern regarding the coordinated arrangements that facilitates F-FDTL presence in order to secure sensitive material held by STAE. The concern here is that the Operational Plan Law for Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Year 2012, Part VI number 2, does not provide any clear explanation as to when the presence of the F-FDTL would be needed.
Accordingly FM recommends that;
1. The Ministry of Security and Defence, through the Secretary of State for Defence, assess the competence of F-FDTL in the realm of internal security;
2. The Secretary of State for Defence coordinates with STAE on operational plan that cover pre-polling, during polling and after polling;
3. STAE review the relevant laws and regulations that govern the assistance of the F-FDTL so as to anticipate certain acts that do not fall within the responsibility of the F-FDTL;
4. STAE review Regulation No 04/STAE/X/2011 articel 16 paragraph e) and f) which justifies the assistance of F-FDTL at polling centres
5. STAE clearly outline the competence of the F-FDTL to the F-FDTL, in accordance with Regulation No 04/STAE/X/2011 article 59 paraggraph 1) and article 60 paragraphs 1), so as to clearly define the roles between F-FDTL and PNTL that may appear similar.
For further information on this report please contact
Director of FundasaunMahein
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