Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 28 June 2007
[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (email@example.com) have been removed.]
Thursday, 28 June 2007
UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING
THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS
National Media Report
The government supports F-FDTL's decision
The Commander of F-FDTL, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, reportedly said that the statement made by Prime Minister Estanislau Aleixo da Silva strengthens the credibility of the F-FDTL. Da Silva had said that the 591 petitioners, who had abandoned the F-FDTL headquarters during last year's crisis, would no longer have the opportunity to return. (STL)
The Catholic Church Discriminates: Dili Diocese "supports" political party
The Dili Diocese has called upon all Christians to support the National Unity Party (PUN) in the upcoming elections, although it has not forced the people to vote for them.
A representative from an unidentified party said that the Church's decision to support and encourage voting for a particular political party shows discrimination on their part. (STL)
Transparency lost in Parliamentary elections
The Coordinator of the International Solidarity Observer Mission for East Timor (SOMET), Jill Sternberg, re-affirmed that the electoral process has lost its transparency when the decision was made to count the ballots at the district levels.
Sternberg said that this decision prevents people living in rural areas to obtain information on the counting process and the results. (STL)
F-FDTL Commander: Reinado's status will be determined after the dialogue
F-FDTL Commander Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak said that the status of the former Commander of the Military Police, Major Alfredo Reinado Alves, will be determined after the dialogue, which is currently being organized by the state.
"Only after this dialogue, a decision will be made on whether Alfredo will remain a member of the military or not," said Ruak. (TP)
Alkatiri continues to challenge Xanana
The Secretary General of Fretilin, Mr. Mari Alkatiri, continued to challenge Xanana on the issue of corruption. During a Fretilin campaign in Dili on Wednesday (27/6), Mr. Alkatiri said that he has not received a response from Xanana regarding a debate. Xanana has accused Alkatiri of corruption during Alkatiri's term in the government. (TP)
STAE and UNMIT conduct voter education
STAE and UNMIT officials on Wednesday (27/6) conducted voter education at the National Hospital. The objective was to provide information to the patients on the voting criteria and to explain the voting procedures. (TP)
International Media Reports
EAST TIMOR: ELECTION MONITORS DEPLOYED ACROSS COUNTRY
Dili, 27 June (AKI) - The International Solidarity Observer Mission for East Timor (SOMET) has begun deployment of teams to all 13 districts of Timor-Leste ahead of Saturday's Parliamentary elections. A total of 49 accredited observers from 9 countries including Timor-Leste will monitor the final days of campaigning and carry out crucial independent observation at polling stations on Election Day.
The teams consist of fully trained international observers as well as national observers drawn from seven co-operating groups within Timor Leste.
"This is an important step in the electoral process"said Jill Sternberg, co-coordinator of SOMET. "Our teams will be on the ground in all districts to contribute to the goal of this Parliamentary election being as free and fair as possible."
On 23 June, SOMET was the only independent international observer group to witness the delivery and transfer of 650 000 ballot papers as they arrived at Nicolas Lobato Airport.
SOMET observers also played an integral role in observing both rounds of the presidential elections earlier this year. Their reports identified key areas in the electoral process where improvements were needed and copies of the documents have been provided to electoral officials and to the leaders of the 14 parties contesting the parliamentary election.
SOMET is a grassroots project of the US based East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN), Free East Timor Foundation (VOT) in the Netherlands, Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID) and Asia Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC) in the Philippines and the World Forum for Democratization in Asia (WFDA).
SOMET was formed at the invitation of civil society organizations in Timor-Leste to support an election process which is transparent, free and fair. It has partnered with nonpartisan East Timorese and other international observers, reporting on the election process especially civic education, vote casting and counting, and reactions to the results. (Rar/Aki)
FACTBOX-East Timor parliamentary elections 27 Jun 2007 04:49:25 GMT Source: Reuters
June 27 (Reuters) - East Timor holds parliamentary polls on Saturday, as a new party led by former President Xanana Gusmao seeks to break the grip on power held by the ruling Fretilin party since independence five years ago. Here are some key facts about the parliamentary elections:
Fourteen parties or coalitions are fighting for seats in the 65-seat parliament, with no single party expected by analysts to win a majority under the proportional representation system.
The election is seen as a showdown between, CNRT, a new party headed by Gusmao, and Fretilin, the leading group in the resistance movement against Indonesia.
Only two other groups -- Partido Democratico (PD) and the Assosiasaun Social Democrata Timorense/Partido Social Democrata (ASDT/PSD) alliance -- are expected to win many votes.
The poor showing of the Fretilin candidate in the presidential elections has been seen as vote of disapproval over the ruling party's performance. Gusmao, regarded as an ally of President Jose Ramos-Horta, set up CNRT with the aim of taking the more hands-on job of prime minister.
Poverty - Alleviating chronic poverty and how best to use the more than $1 billion in funds from oil revenues accumulated so far.
Defence and security - How long Australian-led troops should remain in the country and how to get East Timor's security forces in shape to take over.
Legal system - Foreign influence in courts. Currently based on Portuguese model and includes advisers from Portugal, while using many Indonesian laws.
Displaced/gang violence - Around 10 percent of the population still displaced after last year's violence and sporadic gang violence persists.
Alfredo Reinado - How to deal with the fugitive army deserter and others accused of involvement in violence last year.
International relations - Particularly ties with neighbours such as Indonesia and Australia, which have been complicated by recent history and military interventions.
Sources: Reuters, International Crisis Group.
Campaigning for East Timor's First Parliamentary Election Ends By Nancy-Amelia Collins Dili 27 June 2007
The campaign period for East Timor's parliamentary elections has ended with relatively little violence, but tensions remain and security is tight in this volatile country. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins reports from the capital Dili.
Campaigning ended Wednesday for the 14 parties vying for seats in East Timor's parliament. The election is on Saturday.
Fretilin, the party that has dominated this tiny nation since independence in 2002, held its last rally in Dili.
At the rally, Mariana Parada, says she believes Fretilin can ease the country's poverty and instability.
She says Fretilin is the only party that can provide jobs for the people and education for the children. Her concerns are shared by many in East Timor, where roughly half of the people are jobless.
They also are worried about security. The country was rocked by violence last year after fighting between rival security forces descended into arson, looting, and gang violence.
The bloodshed only ended after the government requested an international peacekeeping force, which remains in the country.
Fretilin's leader, former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, was forced to resign last year after he fired a third of the army, which led to the unrest.
Mr. Alkatiri says the problem is not Fretilin, but the lack of state authority. He says the police, known as the PNTL, and the army, known as the FDTL, need to be overhauled.
"You need cooperation, you need above all justice and state authority," said Mr. Alkatiri. "This state has no longer authority ... you need to rebuild PNTL, you need to restrengthen F-FDTL."
Saturday's election is viewed as a fight between Fretilin and the new National Congress for the Reconstruction of East Timor, or CNRT, led by former President Xanana Gusmao.
A supporter of the CNRT, Gaspar Soares, thinks the only way to deal with East Timor's problems is new leadership.
"We want to change the current government," he said. "That is our main objective … we support CNRT and absolutely we support XXanana, too."
None of the 14 parties is expected to win an outright majority. The party with the most seats will likely form a collation with other parties.
NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional (DN) Semanario Televisaun Timor-Leste (TVTL)