Subject: JP: Golkar, PDI Perjuangan and PDI set to dominate East Timor polls
Date: Sat, 05 Jun 1999 08:40:43 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

[Note: I believe that E Timor only has 4 DPR seats. John] Jakarta Post 05 June 1999

Golkar, PDI Perjuangan and PDI set to dominate East Timor polls

DILI, East Timor (JP): The battle for six House of Representatives (DPR) seats in Monday's elections here will likely be dominated by Golkar Party, the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan), a local election official said.

Deputy chief of the East Timor General Elections Committee, Aderito Hugo da Costa, said Friday the three parties have strong infrastructures in all of the province's 13 regencies which support the quest for victory.

"I'm confident that only Golkar, PDI and PDI Perjuangan will dominate the ballot counting," he said. "The other 12 parties which have branch offices here will find it difficult to grab the allocated seats."

Da Costa, also an official from the Justice and Unity Party (PKP), said the 12 parties could only organize their election campaign in Dili, but failed to both introduce programs to local people living in the other 12 regencies and persuade the eligible voters to vote for them due to limited infrastructures.

In a separate interview, chief of Golkar's East Timor chapter Armindo Soares Mariano said he was confident that his party will secure 60 percent of the overall votes.

"With its new paradigm and independence from the bureaucracy and the military, I'm sure that 60 percent of the votes are already in Golkar's hands," he said.

Meanwhile, chief of the East Timor Elections Committee Gaspar Sarmento suggested local people should provide evidence for the allegations of intimidation by Golkar.

"We have not received any reports of intimidation by Golkar, so far," Sarmento, also an official from the National Mandate Party (PAN), told reporters Friday.

"The alleged intimidation are only rumors, aimed at disrupting the elections," he said.

Sarmento's defense statement, however, was challenged by Adelino Viegas, a resident of Bobonaro regency, who said that physical intimidation was common.

"People in villages find intimidation is not a new technique of Golkar's," he said.

Rumors have spread in town over the past few days that Golkar officials have intimidated people to cast votes for the party Monday.

Rector's Forum

Meanwhile, recruitment of volunteers for the provincial chapter of Rector's Forum poll monitoring group ended in a dispute and drew protest among the group's activists.

Several activists, who have been excluded from the list of volunteers, charged the local coordinator of the poll monitoring group of lacking in wisdom.

"We should have been informed from the outset how many volunteers are needed. We've been recruited and trained, but eventually rejected," said one volunteer.

Ignatius Suprih Sudrajat, coordinator of the Rector's Forum East Timor chapter, said the policy to slash the number of volunteers came from the group's central office.

"A facsimile received from the Rector's Forum main office in Bandung on Wednesday ruled that only 346 out of 648 registered volunteers will be deployed to help monitor Monday's election," he told reporters Friday. (33/imn)

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