Subject: LUSA: National Unity Government To Be Named Sept. 15 - Vieira de Mello

28 Jun 01 12:29 East Timor: National Unity Government To Be Named Sept. 15 - Vieira de Mello

With the approach of East Timor's first elections, United Nations administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello outlined the territory's political calendar Thursday, saying he would name a "government of national unity" ahead of full independence.

"I support the formation of a government of national unity based on the spirit of a National Unity Pact, which I continue to encourage the parties to conclude", Vieira de Mello said in a speech to the National Council, or transitional legislature, in Dili.

He said he would appoint the new cabinet on September 15, the same day that the constituent assembly, which will emerge from the August 30 elections, takes office.

"This government", the Brazilian diplomat added, "will probably include the majority, if not all, of the parties represented in the assembly and perhaps some personalities who are not represented".

The present transition cabinet, composed half-and-half of UN personnel and East Timorese, would come to an end on July 15, along with the National Council, at the start of campaigning for the constitu[t]ent assembly elections, he said.

Sixteen parties have registered to take part in the territory's first free balloting.

Vieira de Mello announced that results of the Aug. 30 vote would be made public by Sept.10.

"On Sept. 15 East Timor will enter the third and last phase of transition (to independence) with the swearing in of the constituent assembly", he said.

On other fronts, he said the security situation, especially along the border with Indonesia, was "good but not perfect"; criminality was low; and the justice system, while in a fledgling state, was functioning.

Vieira de Mello urged that the future government give special attention to equality and greater political participation for women, in[i]tiatives already launched by the joint transition cabinet.

He pledged that the UN and international community would not "abandon" the territory after its independence, expected sometime next year.

Vieira de Mello, who has administered East Timor since October 1999, following the plebiscite for independence from Indonesia, said a "global strategy" was being prepared for the post-independence period, including the continued presence of UN peacekeeping forces and civilian staff.

SAS -Lusa-

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