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Gusmao calls for calm ahead of polls
Smooth election would lead to pullout of UN peacekeepersPrime Minister Xanana Gusmao campaigns in Dili (Thomas Ora)
- Thomas Ora, Dili
- timor leste
- July 6, 2012
Following the April presidential win for Taur Matan Ruak, East Timor will again go to the polls tomorrow to vote for a government whose job it will be to decide how the countryâ€™s oil wealth is to be spent as it looks to draw a line under years of instability.
â€śDo not create any conflict,â€ť Gusmao told gathered crowds and reporters yesterday during the opening of a new Social Ministry office in Dili.
â€śAs prime minister, I ask all Timor Leste citizens to vote wisely,â€ť he added. â€śAfter you do that, you must go home calmly and wait for the results.â€ť
The election, only the second of its kind in the newly independent countryâ€™s history, is being contested by 21 political parties including Gusmaoâ€™s own National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction.
He warned that many parties would lose but said â€śall people must stay calmâ€ť regardless of the final results.
â€śWe will all be winners if we respect the principle of democracy and other peopleâ€™s opinions and life,â€ť he added.
The more than 1,000 United Nations police present in East Timor will secure 650 polling stations alongside 2,500 National Police before the world body looks to withdraw all personnel by the end of the year, if the polls run smoothly.
â€śIf there is an incident, [police] must keep social order according to the existing law,â€ť said Longuinhos Monteiro, general commander of the National Police.
The campaign period during the last parliamentary elections in 2007 saw two supporters of Gusmaoâ€™s party killed. This time round the month-long process has passed without incident.
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