UN envoy to TimorLeste urges democratic election process

12 June 2007With campaigning for Timor-Leste’s parliamentary elections in full swing, the senior United Nations envoy to the country today called on all concerned to ensure a democratic process. “It is important that campaign messages be delivered freely, fairly and without violence or intimidation or misuse of state resources,” he said in a news release.So far, only four of the more than 150 campaign activities held across Timor-Leste by the 16 political parties have been marred by violent incidents, according to the UN Integrated Mission there (UNMIT).Mr. Khare stressed that the 30 June elections should have a restorative and unifying impact and must not lead to divisiveness.In view of a number of security incidents that occurred during this campaigning period, the Special Representative reminded all political players that justice and the rule of law will be upheld. “Those who break the law and use political campaigning as an opportunity to indulge in criminal activity will continue to be dealt with swiftly by police in Timor-Leste,” Mr. Khare said.UNMIT is mandated by the Security Council to support Timor-Leste in all aspects of the 2007 presidential and parliamentary electoral process.In another development, the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) has announced the launch of a campaign to promote women’s participation in all spheres of public life in Timor-Leste.Called Hau Bele, or “I Can,” the drive aims to achieve popular support for the message of gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout Timor-Leste, the agency said.

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