Subject: AFP: UN administrator for East Timor plans broad-based government

UN administrator for East Timor plans broad-based government

LISBON, Aug 24 (AFP) - East Timor's UN administrator said in a newspaper interview Friday that a broad-based government will be named to govern the territory following next week's elections.

The government "will be comprised of members of the two or three parties that garner the greatest number of votes, of independent candidates, if elected, and of independent figures who are not participating in the elections but have recognized competence," Sergio Vieira de Mello told Portuguese daily Publico.

The August 30 elections are being held to choose an 88-member constituent assembly, which will be sworn in on September 15 and will have 90 days to draft and adopt a new constitution for East Timor.

The UN official, who is overseeing the former Portuguese colony's transition to democracy since it voted for independence from Indonesia two years ago, expressed confidence that the parties running in the election would support this type of government and that he had already discussed the concept with them.

However, Vieira de Mello voiced concern over accusations of intimidation by certain parties during the otherwise peaceful electoral campaign.

"We are investigating certain allegations, but we are not sure if they are true," he said.

Two activists from front-runner party Fretilin were arrested Friday for allegedly using threats while campaigning.

Vieira de Mello conveyed hope that the new government of East Timor would remain after the country-to-be became fully indepedent.

"My hope is that the government will remain after independence so that the period of seven or eight months before independence would constitute as a sort of training period for the day when they (the politicians) will have all the power in their own hands," the UN administrator said.

The UN official also said that presidential elections should take place before independence.

Xanana Gusmao, the historic leader of East Timor's resistance movement, is a candidate for the presidency.

The UN transitional administration was set up on October 25, 1999 following a vote by the East Timorese to split from Indonesia, which invaded their country in 1975 and annexed it the following year.

East Timor's first democratic elections will return 88 members to an assembly which is charged with the task of preparing an independent and democratic constitution within 90 days.

ih/mw/cml AFP

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