Unveiling of new Timorese Government welcomed by UN envoy

Unveiling of new Timorese Government welcomed by UN envoy

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The top United Nations envoy in Timor-Leste today welcomed the announcement of a new Government to be led by Xanana Gusmão in the small Asian nation, which the world body helped shepherd to independence in 2002.

Mr. Gusmão – the country’s former President – was selected as the new Prime Minister after the 30 June legislative elections failed to produce a single outright winner. In the recent polls, five parties and two coalitions won parliamentary seats in proportion to their share of the vote.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative Atul Khare welcomed today’s decision, which was announced in the capital, Dili, by President José Ramos-Horta.

Mr. Khare, who is also Head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), paid tribute to Mr. Ramos-Horta for having consulted widely on the matter and devoting great effort to finding a solution “which serves the best interests of the country,” and praised the Timorese people for their “exemplary commitment to the democratic process.”

Noting that the former ruling party, Fretilin, has stated that it will only use legal means to oppose this decision, Mr. Khare stressed that “a criminal act in the name of a political cause is still a criminal act, and will be dealt with firmly.”

He also noted with appreciation the statements of Mr. Ramos-Horta and the President of the National Parliament Fernando de Araujo Lasama, envisaging concrete steps to ensure a meaningful role for the opposition.

“UNMIT looks forward to working with the authorities of Timor-Leste and its people on the urgent issues facing the country, such as security sector reform, strengthening of the justice sector, the promotion of democratic governance and social and economic development,” Mr. Khare said.