Subject: Xanana speech at signing of electoral regulation

CNRT/National Congress Presidency 16th March 2001

Dr Sergio de Mello, Transitional Administrator Mr Jean Christian Cady Distinguished Cabinet Members Distinguished colleagues of the National Council Distinguished Representatives of Diplomatic Missions in Timor Ladies and Gentleman,

It is true that considering the many difficulties we are facing in this process, this regulation signed today by Dr Sergio de Mello constitutes, as he himself acknowledged, the beginning of a new phase. We are now focusing on the elections. We know that as from today until the elections there is a lot of work to do, particularly regarding the activities which enable our people to participate so that they understand this process so that they know what is being done or what is going to be built in their homeland.

There are apprehensions that we are going too fast. The people expressed concerns over the lack of information, above all, about the political process. But in fact, from now on, after this regulation is signed, all or much will have to be done to enable the participation of the people so that the desired outcome, which is that the constitution is indeed a product of the people themselves, can be a reality.

Many people expressed concern about the current situation. Many people are concerned with the problem of political divisions among Timorese. On this matter and in this historical moment, as a humble Timorese citizen, I trust that the political forces, political leaders and the Timorese community as a whole, are not only engaged in this process but are also conscious of the difficult times ahead.

There are questions about the Pact of the National Unity, which is an issue aside from this Regulation, but nevertheless relevant in the overall political process. The Pact [of the National Unity] will not depend only on some Timorese. It will depend mainly on the political parties, on the intellectual capacity of the Timorese, the civil society and, I believe it will also depend on the awareness of the difficulties and the enormous responsibilities the Timorese are facing in this process. As a humble citizen, I do trust that this [Pact of National unity] will also be a product of political maturity of the Timorese.

I am sure that the international community is also monitoring the situation in Timor. As the Speaker [of the National Council], I appeal to you to continue to guarantee us your clear support in this process. I am sure that it is stability that the international community demands from us. Stability will not be guaranteed by the social and economic difficulties we are facing. It will only be possible with the support of the international community. We will continue to guarantee our contribution towards this stability.

From now until the elections, we appeal to UNTAET to create an environment where the people feel personally safe. I am sure that the Timorese, the political leaders and the influential people of the Timorese society, working together with you, we can guarantee the intended outcome of this regulation: that the elections will be held in a truly democratic, calm and peaceful environment.

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