Subject: LUSA: UDT Congratulates Fretilin, but Contests Election Process

06 Sep 01 15:44 East Timor: UDT Congratulates Fretilin, but Contests Election Process

Despite its decision to contest the election process, East Timor's UDT party congratulated Thursday the Fretilin party for its victory in last week's voting for the 88-member Constituent Assembly.

A statement sent to Lusa indicates that the UDT (Timorese Democratic Union) "reaffirms that the election process was neither free nor democratic and that the system used was open to irregularities".

However, the party congratulates Fretilin and offers its best wishes for "success in conducting the destiny of the newly-emergent nation". Such successful effort will be the basis for the "success of East Timor", it adds.

The UDT, like Fretilin[,] one of the half-island's historic independence parties, dating back to before the 1975 Indonesian invasion, obtained only 2.36 percent of the vote in last Thursday's ballot, for two seats in the assembly.

Fretilin was the unrivalled winner, winning 57.37 percent of the vote and 55 assembly seats in the election contested by 16 political parties.

UDT leader Joao Carrascalao guaranteed Thursday that his party would accept the final results.

The UDT "accepts with total humility the electoral defeat" and thanks all party supporters who "continued to believe" in its ideas, states the text sent to Lusa, signed by Joao Carrascalao.

It does not indicate that the UDT will contest the result of the elections, but specifies that by denouncing irregularities in the process the party is fulfilling its "civic duty" as a "citizen of any democratic organization".

The statement also congratulates the people of East Timor for their "dignity" during the election process and urges "all political forces to join together for the purpose of national reconstruction".

JBC -Lusa-

© 1997 Lusa Comentários e Sugestões para Agência Lusa

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