Subject: AFP: UN to open first voter registration office in Timor Monday
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 10:45:07 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

UN to open first voter registration office in Timor Monday

DILI, East Timor, June 11 (AFP) - The United Nations will next week open its first voter registation office in East Timor ahead of a ballot on self-determination for the former Portuguese colony, a UN spokesman said here.

The Dili registration office would "officially be opened Monday," said David Wimhurst, spokesman for the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) which will monitor the vote.

But he added it was unclear when registration would actually be able to start at the office, the first of eight planned registration centers throughout the territory to be opened before the August 8 ballot.

Wimhurst also said UNAMET head Ian Martin had found that "conditions do not exist yet for a secure campaign" in the western town of Maliana which he had visted on Thursday.

Some of the most serious reports of intimidation received by the United Nations had come from the Maliano area, he said.

Wimhurst also said that on Sunday night UNAMET planned to begin the first of its planned series of regular broadcasts to the people of East Timor informing them of their rights under the act of free choice.

Indonesia, which invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it a year later in a move never recognized by the United Nations, agreed in May to hold a ballot on August 8 on whether the territory's people accept or reject an autonomy offer.

Indonesian President B.J. Habibie said in January that if the offer is rejected it will consider letting go of the territory. But since then violence between pro- and anti-independence supporters has spiralled with most of the blame laid on Indonesian military-backed militia.

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