Subject: AFP: Xanana Gusmao to observe Cambodian elections

Agence France Presse

January 28, 2002 Monday

Xanana Gusmao to observe Cambodian elections

PHNOM PENH, Jan 28

East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao will spend a week in Cambodia as an independent monitor for upcoming local district elections, officials said Monday.

Somsri Berger, spokeswoman for the Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL), said Gusmao would arrive Friday but his itinerary was yet to be finalised.

"He really wants to visit Cambodia and learn from this country's experience," she said in regards to the February 3 polls.

The polls, known locally as commune elections, are aimed at completing Cambodia's transition to democracy and will be the first held at a local level since Cambodia began its tragic descent into civil war in 1970.

Gusmao is widely expected to win East Timor's first presidential election to be held on April 16. That election is seen as East Timor's final step towards full independence.


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