Japan fuels voter education with 15 cars

Feb 16, 2012

Dili – A fleet of 15 four-wheel drive vehicles, provided with a Japanese Government grant of US$1.66 million, has been handed over to the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE).

The vehicles will be used for a voter education campaign during the upcoming 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The event was attended by the Ambassador of Japan to Timor-Leste, Yoshitaka Hanada, Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary General and UNDP Resident Representative, Finn Reske-Nielsen and STAE Director-General, Tomás Cabral, who opened the ceremony.

Mr Cabral thanked the people of Japan for their contribution and highlighted the important role that the vehicles will play in improving voter access to public information.

In his remarks, Ambassador Hanada said: “It is essential that these elections be conducted peacefully and democratically, so as to ensure Timor-Leste’s international credibility and further accelerating its nation-building.

“I sincerely hope that the equipment and vehicles provided through this project will contribute to this end,” he said.

Mr Finn Reske-Nielsen said: “We are confident that STAE will successfully organize these important Presidential and Parliamentary elections following the principles of democracy, impartiality and transparency. The United Nations will continue to provide technical support and stands ready to provide logistical support as requested.”

After the ceremony a priest blessed the vehicles, praying for strong support for electoral processes across the country.

The grant was channeled through UNDP’s electoral support programme.