Subject: LUSA: Dili Awaits Elections to Take Command of Transition - Gusmao

East Timor: Dili Awaits Elections to Take Command of Transition – Gusmao 6 Mar-12:39

The East Timorese look forward to upcoming elections to finally take command of the transition process to independence, the UN- administered territory's leader, Xanana Gusmao, said Tuesday.

"We know that the (Security Council) regulations only give us the authority to recommend, not to decide. This is the legal struggle which continues", Gusmao said in Dili, after meeting a delegation of visiting Portuguese lawmakers.

"We are betting on the elections exactly in order to see how the Security Council resolutions function in relation to the (independence) process and to the elected bodies", he added.

Elections for a constituent assembly are expected Aug. 30.

Echoing widespread local criticism of the UN transition administration, Gusmao pointed especially to what he said were UNTAET delays in "Timorizing" the administration, particularly at senior levels.

However, he said he was optimistic that disputes over UN insistance [sic] on quotas for women in the upcoming elections and delays in beginning civil and electoral registrations campaigns would soon be overcome.

One of the visiting Portuguese lawmakers, Luis Fazenda of the Left Bloc, told Lusa the Lisbon delegation had found the Timorese optimistic despite "great socio-economic difficulties, some security problems and the instability inherent in a process of political transition".

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