Subject: LUSA: No Rush to Independence, Urges Baucau's Catholic Bishop

East Timor: No Rush to Independence, Urges Baucau's Catholic Bishop 5 Mar-13:56

Catholic Bishop Basilio do Nascimento has called on East Timor's political leaders not to rush the territory's transition to independence, urging gradual, step-by-step preparation.

"It looks to me as if things are rather short (timewise)", the Bishop of Baucau told Lusa Sunday, warning against "putting the cart before the buffaloes".

Bishop Nascimento noted that with elections for a constituent assembly tentatively expected on Aug. 30 the territory had yet to begin its civil and electoral registration campaigns.

"At the level of desire, I think the political parties are motivated, but at this moment it appears to me that a long road still lies ahead", he said, noting that the "I don't know how many parties" had yet to clearly define themselves.

Nascimento's comments came after he met with a visiting delegation of Portuguese lawmakers in the territory's second biggest city, eastern Baucau.


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