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At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Unicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • Yes for the Single/Lower House?
  • Yes at the Sub-national level?

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • No adopted by political parties?

Is there additional information?



(Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste)

Single/Lower house

National Parliament

Total seats:65
Total women:25
% women: 38%
Election year:2012
Electoral system:List PR
Quota type: Legislated Candidate Quotas
Election details: IDEA Voter Turnout
IPU Parline
Legal sourceDetails
Quota type:
Legislated Candidate Quotas
Electoral law Under Article 12 (3) of the 2006 Law on the Elections of the National Parliament (as amended in 2011), on electoral lists, 1 out of every group of 3 candidates must be a woman.
Legal sanctions for non-compliance: Electoral law The list will be rejected if it does not comply with the quota provisions (Article 12 (3)).
Rank order/placement rules: Electoral law On electoral lists, 1 out of every group of 3 candidates must be a woman (Article 12 (3)).

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Last updated 2014-04-07

Quota at the Sub-National Level

Quota type:Reserved seats
Legal sourceDetails
Quota type:
Reserved seats
Electoral law Both men and women, without discrimination, may participate as candidates and be elected Local (‘Suco’) Chiefs or Members of the Local (‘Suco’) Councils. The Law further stipulates that Local (‘Suco’) Councils shall be composed of the Local (‘Suco’) Chief, the Chiefs of all the villages that are included in the local districts (‘Sucos’) and, additionally, 2 women, 2 youth representatives, 1 of each sex, and 1 elder (Law No. 2/2004 on the Elections of the Local (‘Suco’) Chiefs and the Local (‘Suco’) Councils, Articles 2 (2) and 3 (1)).
Legal sanctions for non-compliance: N/A Not applicable
Rank order/placement rules: N/A Not applicable

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Last updated 2014-04-07

Additional information

A debate on the introduction of quotas for women took place in Timor-Leste during the period of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) between October 1999 and April 2001 (Ballington and Dahlerup 2006: 251–52). During this period, Rede Feto Timor Leste (a network of 16 women’s organizations) proposed that a mandatory quota be stipulated in the electoral regulation, relying on the Beijing Platform of Action and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). At least 30 per cent of women candidates were to be proposed in the political party lists and placed in winnable positions, with every third candidate listed from the top being a woman. However, in 2001 the National Council rejected quotas. Article 12. 3 of the electoral law was eventually adopted in 2006, providing that one out of every four candidates on electoral lists must be a woman. This quota was revised in 2011 to provide for an improved rule that includes a woman in every three candidates on candidate lists.

Last updated 2014-03-31


  • Ballington, J. and Dahlerup, D., ‘Gender Quotas in Post-conflict States: East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq’, in D. Dahlerup (ed.), Women, Quotas and Politics (New York: Routledge, 2006)

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