Subject: Lusa: Fretilin Congress for new reality

East Timor: Fretilin Congress To Ready Party for ´New Reality´

9 Jul-11:57

The upcoming extraordinary congress of East Timor´s historic independence party will cap its "restructuring process" and prepare Fretilin for the territory´s "new reality" on the verge of elections and independence, party leader Ana Pessoa said Monday.

The former internal administration minister in Dili´s UN-led, transitional cabinet told Lusa the five-day congress, beginning Tuesday, would serve "to merge" the party´s three external, clandestine and armed "fronts" from the time of struggle against Indonesian occupation.

Estimating Fretilin had about 100,000 registered members, about one-quarter of the territory´s electorate, Pessoa denied suggestions it was riven by ideological divisions, saying that its encompassing political "front character" left "little room for such situations".

The party congress in Dili will run through July 15, the start of official campaigning for Aug. 30 constituent assembly elections.

Pessoa is the fourth-ranked candidate on the national list of Fretilin, or Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor.

On Sunday, 14 of East Timor´s 16 registered parties, including Fretilin, signed a National Unity Pact ahead of the election campaign in a ceremony witnessed by about 10,000 people at Dili´s newly rebaptized Democracy Stadium.



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