Timor-Leste: UN reports calm ahead of elections
The United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today reported that the capital, Dili, and surrounding areas remained calm as presidential campaigning officially ended ahead of Monday's historic elections in the impoverished country.
In other parts of the country, the mission said the only reported incident took place yesterday near Manatuto, where opposing campaigners clashed, prompting the police, after negotiation efforts failed, to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the fighting crowd.
The head of the UN Mission in Timor Leste Atul Khare praised the efforts of the UN Police and officers from the Bangladeshi Formed Police Unit who responded quickly to bring the situation under control.
“So far I have been satisfied with the presidential campaign and I believe that yesterday's illegal roadblock near Manatuto, like other security incidents during the past two weeks, has not been serious enough to derail the process,” Mr Khare said
UNMIT is helping Timor-Leste with all aspects of the 2007 presidential and parliamentary electoral process – the first in the tiny nation since it gained independence from Indonesia in 2002 – including through technical and logistical support, electoral policy advice and verification.