Presidential Campaigning is Proceeding Well

7 Jul 2008

Presidential Campaigning is Proceeding Well

The UN's Special Representative in Timor Leste said the absence of reported serious incidents midway through the presidential campaign is a direct tribute to the people of Timor Leste who are clearly manifesting their commitment to a peaceful democratic process.

Mr Atul Khare said it is also a tribute to the authorities of Timor Leste – assisted by the international community through the United Nations – who are working to ensure credible elections.

"I would like to congratulate DSRSG Finn Reske-Nielsen and his team within the Electoral Assistance Section and UNDP who have diligently supported the national authorities to ensure that the presidential election on April the 9th will be free, fair and whose results will be acceptable to all," Mr Khare said.

Mr Khare said the campaigns of all candidates would obviously focus on their visions and goals for the development of Timor-Leste. However, a common goal should unite all campaigns; that is inclusiveness.

The importance of inclusiveness is defined in Rule 15 of the Presidential Code of Conduct signed by all candidates and witnessed by the church, civil society and the United Nations on March the 15, which states that all candidates must use:

"... A language that ensures a peaceful environment, free of defamation, non-threatening, not encouraging violence, and without personal criticism towards persons or a group of people, notably other candidates and their supporters..."

The elections must have a restorative and unifying impact and must not, on any account, lead to divisiveness.

"They are also the beginning of the democratic process to lead to participatory decision making for the common good," Mr Khare said.

For further information please contact UNMIT spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453