Dili, 19 February 2002


Francisco Xavier do Amaral, a Deputy Speaker of the Constituent Assembly, received a second nomination today for president. The former FRETILIN leader is the only candidate for the 14 April election with just four days remaining in the registration period.

Xavier do Amaral was nominated today by the party he leads, ASDT (Timorese Social Democratic Association/Associação Social-Democrata Timorense). On 4 February, he was also nominated by PARENTIL (Partai Republik Nacional Timor Leste).

Candidates must be nominated and registered at UNTAET's Independent Electoral Commission by 12:00 noon Saturday, 23 February.

A candidate can be nominated by one or more political parties or collect 5,000 signatures and run as an independent. New political parties can also register and submit presidential nominations during this phase. The 16 parties that contested the 30 August 2001 elections for the Constituent Assembly are already considered registered.

The presidential election will be the third UN-administered ballot in East Timor. Unlike the previous two polls, East Timorese hold a majority of seats on the IEC's Board of Commissioners, control all 13 district electoral offices and participate in the counting of the ballots.


Constituent Assembly Speaker Fransisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres returned today from a five-day visit to Portugal that included the signing of a new protocol of cooperation between the East Timorese and Portuguese assemblies.

The protocol updates a previous arrangement between the Portuguese National Assembly and the National Council of East Timor, an appointed legislative body that was disbanded to make room for the popularly elected Constituent Assembly.

In the protocol, the Portuguese Assembly offers to continue financing international experts at the Constituent Assembly Secretariat who are assisting in the final stages of drafting East Timor's first Constitution and the Constituent Assembly's transformation into a fully fledged legislature after independence. It also welcomes Constituent Assembly staff to visit the Portuguese legislature for training.

During his visit, Lu-Olo met Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, Assembly President Antonio de Almeida Santos, Prime Minister Antonio Guterres and Foreign Minister Jaime José Matos da Gama.