UN welcomes preliminary results of Timor-Leste poll, looks ahead to next round

18 April 2007 –

Welcoming the preliminary results of the presidential poll in Timor-Leste, which took place last week, the United Nations today praised the non-violent nature of the voting as it looked ahead to the second round next month, which will also be strongly supported by the world body.

“The two candidates who have obtained the highest number of votes will now contest a second round, on May 9. Again, these elections will have the benefit of considerable assistance from the international community, including through the United Nations,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.

“The United Nations is particularly pleased that the first round of the election was completed without any serious incidents of violence and intimidation during the campaign, vote and the counting of ballots, and that candidates have made full use of the appropriate legal channels to raise their concerns about the process.”

She said that the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) was pleased at the announcement of the preliminary results, adding that the final results would now be certified by the Court of Appeals after consideration of any appeals that are lodged within the permissible 24-hour period.

Last Monday’s poll was the first in Timor-Leste since it gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 and, as well as congratulating the Timorese for participating in the vote, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also commended the national authorities for organizing the election and UNMIT for its support.

“The Secretary-General calls on the international community to continue providing assistance as Timor-Leste works to complete this year’s electoral process and to address challenges related to the security sector, the rule of law, governance and development,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said after the landmark vote.

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