After Peaceful Elections, East Timor’s New Government Is Facing Headwinds

After Peaceful Elections, East Timor’s New Government Is Facing Headwinds
Supporters of CNRT Party have their face and body painted with the party's colors during a campaign rally, Dili, East Timor, July 17, 2017 (AP photo by Kandhi Barnez).

The latest round of elections in East Timor ended peacefully, far removed from the tumultuous and violent period of a decade ago. But the country that has become a model of post-conflict democracy is not without its challenges, including an increasingly complex and contested political arena and a troubled economy. In an email interview, Sue Ingram, a longtime practitioner, consultant and adviser on governance and statebuilding in fragile states, explains how East Timor found its political footing after the 2006 crisis and what is on the horizon.

WPR: What is the significance for East Timor of holding elections without U.N. supervision, and what does this milestone say about security sector reform and the post-conflict recovery in general?

Sue Ingram: The recent parliamentary elections in East Timor were the second national poll this year, following on from the March vote for the country’s president. They come almost five years after the United Nations peacekeeping mission wrapped up at the end of 2012, and it’s worth noting that the successful conduct of the 2012 elections was a benchmark for U.N. withdrawal. While the U.N. provided considerable logistical and technical support for the 2012 elections, this year East Timor was on its own. It handled the polling process and the associated security operation entirely with its own resources, and both elections have been commended as efficiently run and peaceful—further evidence, if needed, of the stability that has accompanied the country’s development since the rocky years of 2006-2008.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.