Subject: LUSA: Dili Residents Take Part in Post-Election Street Cleaning

31 Aug 01 13:49 East Timor: Dili Residents Take Part in Post-Election Street Cleaning

Residents of the East Timorese capital took part Friday in a post-ballot street cleaning initiative, answering an election appeal launched by the Fretilin party.

Brigades of residents and Fretilin supporters fanned out to various city districts, cleaning streets and gardens the day after the territory's Constituent Assembly elections.

Among participants were the Fretilin secretary general, Mari Alkatiri, and other ranking party leaders.

"Everything is going well and peacefully, contrary to what others might have expected", Alkatiri told media when his group was working near the headquarters of East Timor's UN transition administration.

The historic independence party's use of the slogan "sweep the ground" during the election campaign had drawn widespread criticism from East Timorese and international organizations and raised fears among some sectors of the electorate.

The critics recalled that the expression - "dasu rai" in Tetun, the territory's lingua franca - was associated to repression suffered during the 1975-1999 Indonesian occupation and the 1999 anti- independence militia violence.

Fretilin was widely tipped before the voting to win Thursday's Constituent Assembly elections, which were contested by 16 political parties. The provisional results should be known by early next week, with the definitive count announced in a formal ceremony on September 10.

JBC -Lusa-

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