Subject: AFP: Jakarta sets up cabinet team to oversee East Timor poll
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 11:17:18 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

Jakarta sets up cabinet team to oversee East Timor poll

JAKARTA, May 11 (AFP) - The Indonesian government on Tuesday formed a team of ministers to oversee a UN-monitored poll in East Timor to decide the troubled territory's future.

President B.J. Habibie has ordered Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Feisal Tanjung to ensure that an agreement between Indonesia and Portugal is honoured, Justice Minister and State Secretary Muladi said

The president set up a team headed by Tanjung "so that the consultation of opinion can really be held in fair, honest and transparent manner," Muladi said.

He said the team would also comprise himself, Defence Minister and armed forces chief General Wiranto, Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, Home Affairs Minister Syarwan Hamid, National Police Chief General Rusmanhadi and National Intelligence Agency head General Z.A. Maulani.

Muladi said the membership showed that the government was determined to ensure the success of the polls from the security, diplomatic, legal and other aspects.

Indonesia and Portugal last week signed an agreement at the United Nations to offer broad autonomy to the former Portuguese colony of East Timor, which Indonesia invaded in 1975 and annexed the following year.

The agreement provided for the UN to monitor the ballot of East Timor's 600,000 voters to see whether they will accept autonomy or opt for independence.

Witnesses to violence by pro-Jakarta militias in East Timor Sunday and Monday said Indonesian troops and police appeared to do little or nothing to halt the bloodshed, in which at least four independence supporters were killed.

There have been similar complaints in the past.

The poll, Muladi said "should be absolutely not flawed in its implementation and really made secure.

"And for the sake of the good name and image of the Indonesian nation, it should not be engineered."

The team would ensure the poll was held "in the best manner possible and in an honest and fair manner on August 8" and the government would respect the result.

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