Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party
Phil GOFF Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs 6 July 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT Observers hope for peaceful aftermath to elections On the eve of the Parliamentary elections East Timor is calm says Labour MP Phil Goff who is working as an ASEAN (Association …Phil
Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs
6 July 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Observers hope for peaceful aftermath to elections
On the eve of the Parliamentary elections East Timor is calm says Labour MP Phil Goff who is working as an ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum election observer.
“While campaigning passionately East Timor’s political parties have observed a peace pact to avoid electoral conflict,” Phil Goff said.
“Rallies and cavalcades have been carefully planned to avoid potential clashes.
“The electoral commission and technical secretariat appear to have the Election Day process well-organised off the back of the successful two-round Presidential elections in March/ April of this year.
“However concerns remain that while Election Day may pass smoothly, once the results are counted there may be a violent reaction from elements within the one or other of the two major parties which is not successful,” Phil Goff said.
“In 1999 the independence referendum passed relatively peacefully on the day but massive violence occurred in the days after the result was announced.
“Fortunately this is not likely this time, but with violence occurring in 2006 when more than 100,000 people fled their homes into refugee camps and with the attempted assassinations of the President and the Prime Minister in 2007, there is understandable nervousness,” Phil Goff said.
“Having said that, big progress has been made in East Timor. Most People including the political parties don’t want to see their country slip back into violence. The Catholic Church, NGOs, civil society and the international community see these elections — and the maturity with which they are conducted and responded to — as the opportunity for Timor-Leste to take full control of its own destiny and build a better future,” Phil Goff said.