Category Archives: Community

Timor-Leste heading towards minority, but stable, government

Although unlikely to be formalized before 22 August, the shape of Timor-Leste’s next government is starting to become clear. It appears that Fretilin, as the ‘most voted’ party, will form a minority government, probably in alliance with the ‘youth’ party, KHUNTO. This alliance will give the government 27 seats in the 65 seat parliament. The […]

Timor-Leste’s political unity ended

Timor-Leste went into the 2017 parliamentary elections with a general expectation that the two major parties, CNRT and Fretilin, would continue to dominate the small country’s politics and return to the coalition they had since 2015. That coalition gave Timor-Leste stability and promised stability into the future, if at the expense of a viable opposition. […]

The China-India face-off in Bhutan

In a world that seems to be more rather than less prone to confrontation, China and India are now squaring off against each other on a remote plateau in a corner of the almost as remote country of Bhutan. Bhutan, an ally of India, is wedged between the two Asian powers, with China claiming a […]

Preliminary Statement, Timor-Leste Parliamentary Election 2017

Damien Kingsbury and Michael Maley The Australia Timor-Leste Election Observer Mission (ATLEOM) wishes to congratulate the people of Timor-Leste on a peaceful and successful 2017 parliamentary election. The ATLEOM project also congratulates the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) and the National Electoral Commission (CNE) on conducting a successful election. The election marks a deepening […]

Timor-Leste’s elections strengthen CNRT, Fretilin

With 83 per cent of the votes counted in East Timor’s elections, it appears that five of 21 parties have gained enough votes to be represented in the next parliament, with Fretilin and CNRT strengthening their dominance of the country’s political landscape.  Early indications of the allocation of seats based on the party list vote […]

Timor-Leste consolidates its young democracy

Timor-Leste goes to its fourth parliamentary elections this Saturday, in a process that has so far been colorful and sometimes noisy but unblemished by the violence that marred this country’s first few years of independence. By conventional criteria, Timor-Leste has passed the test of consolidating its young democracy. The number of parties contesting the elections […]

Jokowi’s power play

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo’s decree on Wednesday banning organisations that do not support the state ideology of ‘Pancasila’ (Five Principles) has sparked strong protest from both human rights and Islamist groups in Indonesia and sparked some alarm abroad. It’s the first time such a presidential decree has been issued since Indonesia’s hard-line leader Suharto was […]

A murdered activist’s anniversary marks Cambodia preparation for a showdown

As Cambodia slides further towards absolute authoritarianism, today (Monday) marks the first anniversary of the assassination of Cambodia’s leading pro-democracy activist, Dr Kem Ley. His murder, in broad daylight, appeared to have been intended to silence dissent in a country that had once been hailed as an example of the international community’s ability to bring […]

Aceh whippings hide deeper problem with Indonesian Islam

Reporting of two gay men being publically whipped in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh has sparked concerns that Indonesia’s long-vaunted ‘tolerant’ Islam is turning fundamentalist. Islam in Indonesia is in a process of change and a more fundamentalist version of the faith is increasingly prominent. The ‘Aceh whippings’, however, may be misleading. Aceh was […]