Election Management Bodies and Civil Society Come Together as Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum Kicks Off in Dili, Timor-Leste
17 March 2015, DILI, TIMOR-LESTE– The historic second meeting of the Asian Electoral Stakeholder Forum (AES Forum) will take place in Dili, Timor-Leste on 18 & 19 March 2015. It brings together more than 120 representatives of Election Management Bodies and Civil Society Organizations from across Asia and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. Hosted by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the Asian Network for Free Elections(ANFREL), the AES Forum is a one of a kind gathering of vitally important Election Stakeholders that includes EMB Chairman, Commissioners, administrators, Election Observers, Legal Experts, and Academics.
Generously supported by the CNE, the AES Forum will shine a spotlight on the realities of, and challenges to, Elections in Asia and the CPLP countries. While their mandates differ, the AES Forum will offer EMBs and CSOs a chance to exchange information on the many common electoral values they in fact share. Attendees will discuss best practices and hold open, honest discussion about the remaining persistent challenges to elections in the region. In all, the Forum will include representatives from twenty-seven countries across Asia, the CPLP, and beyond. These representatives will carry the lessons learned and knowledge gained at the AES Forum back to their home countries to share and implement in their own work to improve the quality of elections in their own countries.
The Forum will also provide a chance for the almost seventy international participants to learn more about the Electoral system in Timor-Leste and the remarkable electoral gains Asia’s youngest country has made since gaining its Independence. While the story of Timorese Electoral Democracy isn’t finished, its start is an inspiring one for countries everywhere. The AES Forum will draw on such stories to inspire and rededicate its participants to their shared goals of free and fair elections with integrity for all.