Timor-Leste

Campaigning continues across Timor-Leste

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Dili, Timor-Leste, 11 June 2007 - As campaigning continues across Timor-Leste, the head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, has called on all parties and the Timorese people to respect each other and ensure the observance of a democratic process.

"It is important that campaign messages be delivered freely, fairly and without violence or intimidation or misuse of state resources," he said.

So far, over 150 campaign activities have been held across Timor-Leste by the 16 political parties contesting the June 30 election. Of that number, four events were confirmed to have been marred by associated violent incidents.

Mr Khare stressed that the elections should have a restorative and unifying impact and must not, on any account, lead to divisiveness.

The SRSG also commended all parties on the signing of the Political Party Accord just before the start of party campaigning, which demonstrated the collective will of all political parties to a free and fair election on 30 June. Following the signing of the document last month, party representatives in other districts including Ermera, Liquica and Bobonaro, have also signed their own peace agreements.

In view of a number of security incidents that occurred during this campaigning period, the Special Representative reminded all political players that justice and the rule of law will be upheld. "Those who break the law and use political campaigning as an opportunity to indulge in criminal activity will continue to be dealt with swiftly by police in Timor-Leste," Mr. Khare said.

Campaigning across Timor-Leste's 13 districts, involving rallies, meetings and the distribution of campaign material, has been supervised by the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and monitored by both national and international election observers. The campaigning period ends on June 27th, allowing for a two-day quiet period ahead of the election.

UNMIT is mandated through Security Council Resolution 1704 to "support Timor-Leste in all aspects of the 2007 presidential and parliamentary electoral process, including through technical and logistical support, electoral policy advice and verification or other means."

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