Subject: AP: Opposition Parties Accuse UN

East Timorese Opposition Accuses UN The Associated Press, Thu 13 Sep 2001

DILI, East Timor (AP) — Opposition leaders in East Timor criticized the United Nations on Thursday for favoring one political party and not creating the framework for democracy in their fledgeling nation.

Fernando de Araujo, who heads the Democratic Party, accused the U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor of siding with Fretilin, the pro-independence party that won elections last month for the assembly that will draft the new constitution.

The U.N. administration has been running the country since 1999 when an overwhelming majority of East Timorese opted for independence from Indonesia, which had occupied the former Portuguese colony in 1975.

Fretilin — the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor — garnered 57 percent of the vote and secured 55 seats in the 88-member assembly that will steer the territory to independence next year.

``We are worried that the United Nations is offering everything to Fretilin without consulting the other parties that won seats,'' said de Araujo, whose own party came in second with seven seats in the assembly.

De Araujo's criticism of the world body was echoed by other party leaders and political analysts. They voiced concerns that the United Nations would allow Fretilin to dominate the assembly and draw up a constitution without consulting all segments of society.

The U.N. administration ``is about to leave behind a political culture as undemocratic as the workings of the United Nations itself,'' said Lucas de Costa, who heads the Higher Institute for Economics and Management in Dili.

In West Timor, the U.N. High Commission for Refugees plans to resume operations shortly, a year after a mob attack left three of its workers dead, Assistant High Commissioner Soren Jessen-Petersen said Wednesday.

On Sept. 6, a pro-Indonesian militia mob stormed the U.N. office in Atambua, in West Timor, and hacked to death three foreign staffers. The world body pulled out all its workers after the attack.

The militia in West Timor are remnants of gangs set up by the Indonesian army that killed hundreds when neighboring East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia.


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