Subject: LUSA: Call for Legislative Elections Aimed to 'Provoke Crises' - Alkatiri

03 Jan 02 14:14 East Timor: Call for Legislative Elections Aimed to 'Provoke Crises' - Alkatiri

East Timor´s chief minister, Mari Alkatiri, Thursday denounced an unexpected call for legislative elections as an attempt by opposition forces to provoke a political crisis.

"Opting for new elections is openly to want to provoke crises", Alkatiri said, referring to a demand made earlier Thursday in Dili by a newly founded group opposing the planned transformation of the recently elected constituent assembly into the territory´s future parliament.

"If they argue that not holding new elections would provoke crises, demanding them is to move against the majority and that is where crises can be created", Alkatiri said.

It was "strange", he added, that the new group was headed by Manuel Carrascalao, who served as president of the interim legislature that approved the form and timetable of East Timor´s transition to independence, slated for May 20.

Alkatiri charged that Carrascalao and other opposition figures linked to the call for new elections were simply acting out of disappointment over the results of last August´s constituent assembly vote.

In that election, the territory´s first free balloting, the chief minister´s Fretilin party won an overwhelming majority in the assembly.

Carrascalao´s movement, calling itself Group for the Defense of Democracy, Peace and Stability in East Timor (GDDPE), made its first public appearance at a Dili news conference Thursday.

The group said it had written to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan asking that legislative elections be held together with planned presidential balloting before independence or immediately after the UN-administered territory gains full sovereignty.

SAS -Lusa-

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