SRSG, DILI DISTRICT ADMINISTRATOR TO LEAD CLEAN-UP EFFORT
United Nations Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello and Dili District Administrator Ruben Bráz de Carvalho called on the local media today to help promote an upcoming Clean-Up Campaign in the East Timor capital.
The campaign – to begin on Saturday, 9 March – aims to enlist the public’s assistance in sprucing up Dili ahead of 19-20 May independence celebrations. The result will be a more attractive capital for visiting foreign dignitaries and international media, as well as improved local hygiene and a healthier natural environment for residents, Vieira de Mello said at a press conference.
“Cleanliness and beauty go together,” he added. “We must educate the people, especially the youth, … to respect their surroundings and contribute to the development plans of their Government.”
Vieira de Mello, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative, and Bráz de Carvalho will kick off the campaign at a Saturday clean-up ceremony on Dili’s waterfront. The launch will also mark the beginning of a Dili District competition that will see areas of the capital vie for the title of Cleanest Neighbourhood in Dili.
ASSEMBLY MEMBERS COMPLETE REPORTS ON CONSULTATION
East Timorese popular opinion on the fledgling nation’s draft Constitution was distilled into reports today by members of the Constituent Assembly ahead of a final round of debate on the historic document.
Three days of report writing followed a week-long public consultation period. More than 60,000 copies of the draft Constitution were distributed around the territory. Assembly members then divided into groups and held more than 80 public meetings.
The reports will be presented to the full Assembly tomorrow together with suggestions made by members of the government and civil society. Suggestions for amendments will be entered onto a chart, which will be forwarded to the Assembly’s Standardisation and Harmonisation Committee. The committee will determine which suggestions will be voted on by the full Assembly next week. Any changes will be entered into the draft Constitution ahead of a final vote on the full document on 13 March, followed by a signing ceremony on 16 March.
While a variety of opinions were expressed during the consultation, a handful of issues appeared to be dominant concerns to the general public: the length of the consultation process; the date of independence; the role of the Catholic Church; the powers of the President; and the Assembly’s transformation into the Republic’s first legislature.
IEC BOARD APPROVES BALLOT FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
A ballot for the 14 April presidential election including the logos of 11 political parties has been approved by the Independent Election Commission’s (IEC) Board of Commissioners, election officials said today.
The IEC Board directed the Office of the Chief Electoral Officer yesterday to proceed with the production of the ballots after a multi-party effort to have the logos removed did not win the support of the ASDT party (Associação Social-Democrata Timorense), one of two that nominated Francisco Xavier do Amaral for President.
The Board announced Monday that it had received a request from the nine parties that nominated independence leader Xanana Gusmão to have their logos kept off the ballot. The Board concluded that it could only accept the petition if similar requests were received from the two parties that nominated Amaral, a Deputy Speaker of the Constituent Assembly, by noon yesterday.
One party – PARENTIL, Partido Republika Nacional Timor Leste or National Republican Party of East Timor – made such a request, but ASDT informed the Board that it did not support the exclusion of party symbols from the ballot.
Also on Monday, a random draw was held to determine the placement of the candidates’ names and photographs, as well as their supporting party logos, on the ballot. The result was that Gusmão’s name, likeness and supporters will appear first, followed by Amaral’s.