Subject: AFP:Vote counting for Indon regions outside E.Timor to be in Jakarta
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 1999 06:49:15 EDT

Vote counting for Indonesian regions outside East Timor to be in Jakarta

JAKARTA, Aug 26 (AFP) - Votes cast next week in a landmark self-rule ballot by East Timorese living outside the territory will be counted in Jakarta, the UN Information Centre here said Thursday.

"The ballots will be counted centrally in Jakarta and ballots from all polling centres (outside East Timor) will be mixed," a UN press release said.

This procedure would forestall "the vote of certain polling stations being associated with either one of the two options available," it added. East Timorese are to vote Monday on an offer of broad autonomy under Indonesia.

The UN Mission in East Timor, which is organizing Monday's poll, has opened five voter-registration centres in Indonesia at large -- three on Java island, one in Sulawesi island and another on the resort island of Bali.

"Registered voters are asked to cast their votes in the polling centre where they registered," the UN statement said, adding the voting would take place on Monday only.

All polling stations will open at 9:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m., it said. The five centres are sprawled over two different time zones.

Some 430,000 East Timorese in the territory itself are expected to cast their votes on Monday to decide on Indonesia's autonomy package.

Indonesia has said it may give independence to the former Portugese colony, which it annexed in 1976, if autonomy is rejected.

Another 20,000 East Timorese will vote in the five polling stations in Indonesia and others in several countries with large East Timorese exiled communities, including Australia and Portugal.

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