Subject: UNMIT Daily Media Review 10 May 2007

[Poster's note: Repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list (info@etan.org) have been removed.]

Wednesday, 10 May 2007

UNMIT ­ MEDIA MONITORING THE UN INTEGRATED MISSION IN TIMOR-LESTE DOES NOT VOUCH FOR THE ACCURACY OF THESE REPORTS

National Media Reports

Preliminary results of run-off election: KOMEG, Horta is top rank in Dili

The secretary general of KOMEG João Travolta last night said that from 113 polling centers in the Dili District, the presidential candidate Jose Ramos Horta is leading the count with 26.223 votes. The counting is being monitored by the Coalition for Monitoring the General Election (KOMEG).

KOMEG said the other Presidential candidate Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo has 5.284 votes.

Travolta said that until last night KOMEG had not received results from the other 12 regions in Timor Leste. (DN, TP and STL)

Julio: People are apathy in the run-off election

The military and political observer Julio Thomas Pinto has stated that participation in the second round of the presidential election is different to the first round. He said that people were showing less enthusiasm at polling stations in Dili.

“According to my observation people are not showing the same enthusiasm and we are not sure why. Perhaps it because their their candidate had been defeated in the first round and they think that both candidates are similar,” said Mr Pinto. (DN)

GNR and PNTL provided security in Farol polling center

The United Nations GNR police officers and the PNTL have both contributed to the provision of security at polling centres in Dili to ensure that the election ran smoothy and that the electoral process was not impeded.

The observation was reported by Diario Nacional after observing voting at a polling centre in Farol, Dili. (DN)

Horta: “I will accept the result of election”

The presidential candidate Jose Ramos Horta told journalists yesterday while at the plling centre of Noble da Paz School in Dili that he will accept the result of the election after any challenges are heard through the Court of Appeal.

He added that whether he is successful or not he will work to ensure that the nation is stabalised. (DN and TP)

Lu-Olo: ready to accept the results of the election

The presidential candidate Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo said after voting on Wednesday at the polling centre in Farol in Dili that he is ready to accept the result of the election as part of the democratic process.

He said that he would like to win or lose with dignity. (DN and TP)

Xanana: “all people should receive the result of run-off presidential election

The President of the Republic Xanana Gusmão said that regardless of who wins the presidential election, it should be accepted calmly.

“I call for all people to be calm for today (Wednesday) because people have the great decision to elect the president of republic. Regardless of whoever wins or loses, it is the democratic process,” said Xanana. (DN)

Thomas Cabral: voters turnout in the runoff election

At a press conference held by STAE on Wednesday in Caicoli Dili, the director of STAE Thomas do Rosario Cabral said that there has been a good voter turnout for the presidential election.

He said the percentage could be similar with the percentage of the previous vote which was 81.67% He said he expected an announcement within the next few days. (DN)

Rui: People have adequate maturity accepting the result of election

After voting in Farol polling center on Wednesday the vice prime minister and also minister of health Rui Maria de Araujo said that the people of Timor Leste have a sufficient maturity to accept the result of the second round of the presidential election.

He revealed that such maturity had been shown in the first round of presidential election last month. (TP and DN)

International Media Reports

“If I lose, I will help those who voted for me accept the victory of our brother Lu-Olo”

Press Review: Público, Portugal

In an interview given to Público (Lisbon) Prime Minister Ramos-Horta was asked how he could accept Vicente da Conceição as a prominent element in his presidential campaign after he admitted that he accepted arms to pursue Fretilin militants According to Jose Ramos-Horta, Vicente Railos is seen by many as a “hero” because he had the courage to denounce the whole sordid story of the distribution of arms to civilians. In July last year he and his men handed over all the arms in their. Has he become a criminal, he asked adding that the legal aspect of this issue is not for him to comment on.

After being reminded of a statement made two months ago that the time to capture Alfredo Reinado had come since no one could be above the law in Timor and now recently stating that the international forces should suspend their operations in the country, Jose Ramos-Horta was asked if his interests as a candidate could prevail over the interests of the Timorese justice. He explained that the only reason why he asked for the suspension of the operations was to facilitate the dialogue for Alfredo Reinado to hand himself in. “Is it so difficult to understand my position,” he asked.

Asked to comment on the managing of the oil revenue by his predecessor, which he himself has criticized and also on the comments made by his adversaries who claim he is protecting foreign interests, and what changes he intends on making regarding the oil fund, he said, “I do not intend on making any changes”. “It is pathetic for the previous administration to speak of ‘preserving the money’ from the oil for future generations and investing it in government bonds in New York”. He stressed that Timor could not wait and had to invest now to solve the pressing problems of today and prepare for the future.

Asked to assess his performance as Prime Minister, taking into account that three of the crucial situations related to last year’s crisis still persist, i.e. the ex-petitioners, threats from Major Reinado and displaced persons, Ramos-Horta said that it has been positive since he managed to achieve reconciliation between the police and the armed forces and to restore people’s trust.

Asked what three concrete actions he plans on carrying out if elected President, Ramos-Horta stated that he wants to reform the Defense and Security sector to modernize and professionalize them. He will also appoint a High Commissioner against corruption. On his agenda is also the creation of a task-force against poverty, in collaboration with the parliament, Government and civil society.

Asked if he intended to promote a revision of the Constitution in order to increase the powers of the president, Ramos-Horta said it was a possibility. In his view the current Constitution takes all power away from the President and this was the root of the conflict between Alkatiri and Xanana Gusmão, he said. This way Alkatiri was able to govern without impediments but this created a rift between him and Xanana. It was a mistake to deny Xanana a central role in the first five years, after all without him we would not have reached the 1999 victory, he added.

Asked what he will do if he wins the presidential elections and Fretilin wins the Parliamentary elections, Jose Ramos-Horta said that like any head of State he will work with any parliament and elected government. “I know Fretilin will do the same”, he added. If he should lose the elections, he will firstly “help the Government reach the end of its mandate” and help those that voted for him “accept the victory of our brother Lu-Olo.”

Xanana has an obsessive hatred towards Fretilin

Press Review: Público, Portugal

Commenting to Publico (Lisbon) on the fact that only one out of the six candidates eliminated in the first round gave him public support, Lu-Olo says that what “we have seen is the public expression of the will of the leaders and candidates of those parties”. He adds that he is confident that each and every Timorese will vote according to their conscience. “I am also confident that the message I passed on to the people through my electoral commitments, during the campaign and during the televised debate, represent the vision of the majority of Timorese.”

Público recalled that, at the last political rally in Dili, the secretary-general of Fretilin and former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that Ramos-Horta was a “person that does not have his own thoughts” adding that “today he says one thing and the next day another” and asked Lu-Olo why was he then invited to be Prime Minister less than a year ago. The nation was in a crisis and on the verge of a civil war if Fretilin didn’t agree with the demands of President Xanana in electing Ramos-Horta as Prime Minister, Lu-Olo told the newspaper. Ramos-Horta was at the time the candidate chosen to try to avoid a confrontation with the president; at the same time some people thought it was the best way to solve the crisis. However, he added, “Now we can see that this was not the case”. “Ramos-Horta didn’t solve anything.”

Commenting on the statement made by current President Xanana Gusmão that if Fretilin wins this means that the people will see “Timor controlled by only one family”, Lu-Olo denied that this was true and reminded that the President of Timor has an “obsessive hatred” for Fretilin and his defamatory speeches were the main cause of the crisis last year.

Asked what concrete measures he would take to solve last year’s crisis which neither Xanana Gusmão nor Alkatiri has been able to, Lu-Olo said he would work to reestablish institutional solidarity and cooperation. Mari Alkatiri did not have the opportunity to solve the crisis created by others, he added. Fretilin’s adversaries used the crisis to remove Alkatiri from power thinking they could solve the problem. However, that did not happen because neither Xanana nor Ramos-Horta was able to solve its root cause-- law and order, security.

Asked if he is in favor of a revision of the Constitution to increase the powers of the President, Lu-Olo said that he doesn’t think there is a need to change the Constitution. He added that he doesn’t want to have additional powers; he just wants to be a president that knows how to cooperate and solve the challenges ahead.

Responding to the question that should he win the upcoming elections would he invite Mari Alkatiri to form government, Lu-Olo told Publico that Mari Alkatiri has already publicly announced that he does not intend to be Prime Minister adding that “ Fretilin has a new generation” that has emerged in the last five years and is ready to lead.

To end off the interview, Lu-Olo said that if he loses these elections he will continue to discharge his duties as Speaker of Parliament and as President of Fretilin. “I will of course work hard for Fretilin to win an absolute majority in the legislative elections”.

NATIONAL NEWS SOURCES: Timor Post (TP) Radio Timor-Leste (RTL) Suara Timor Lorosae (STL) Diario Tempo (DT) Diario Nacional Semanario Televisaun Timor-Leste (TVTL)

UNMIT MEDIA MONITORING www.unmit.org 


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