Praising progress in Timor-Leste, Ban urges peaceful, democratic presidential poll

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Praising progress in Timor-Leste, Ban urges peaceful, democratic presidential poll

As the presidential election in Timor-Leste approaches, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged all candidates to conduct their activities in a peaceful and democratic manner, saying the poll is yet another milestone since the restoration of the country’s independence in 2002.

Voters in Timor-Leste are due to go to the polls on 17 March to elect a new president. Thirteen candidates, including two women, have been approved to run in the election.

“Over the last decade, peace and economic growth have replaced conflict and strife,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the people of Timor-Leste that was issued yesterday, in which he also congratulated the country on its achievements.

He said political leaders had expressed their readiness to continue to consolidate peace and development, and that State institutions had demonstrated their experience, capacity and confidence to plan and manage elections effectively. “Voter registration, including among young people, has been high,” the Secretary-General added.

Considering the “diligent work” carried out by the people of Timor-Leste, Mr. Ban said, the prospects for a peaceful, credible and transparent election are good.

“However, as we all know, peace and stability cannot be taken for granted. They must be nurtured every day,” he said, adding that the conduct of the election will be critical for consolidating peace and stability. He also assured the people of Timor-Leste of the UN’s continued support.