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President calls for post-election calm

Violence kills one after second-placed party excluded from proposed coalition govt

Francisco Guterres (right) speaks at a campaign rally ahead of parliamentary elections this month Francisco Guterres (right) speaks at a campaign rally ahead of parliamentary elections this month
  • Thomas Ora, Dili
  • Timor Leste
  • July 17, 2012
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President Taur Matan Ruak met with leaders from four major political parties yesterday in the capital Dili to ask for help after a civilian was killed, four policemen injured and more than 50 vehicles destroyed in post-election violence.

The clashes in Viqueque started Sunday shortly after Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao said at a national conference that his  National Congress for the Reconstruction of East Timor (CNRT) would set up a coalition with the Democratic Party and Frenti-Mudanca, and exclude the second-placed party.

The results of the July 7 parliamentary election showed that CNRT won 30 seats in the 65-member assembly. Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin), Democratic Party and Frenti-Mudanca respectively won 25, eight and two seats.

“I ask political leaders for your help and cooperation to call on your parties to contribute to creating peace and calm in our country,” the president told the party leaders in his office in Dili.

“Violence is not the way of democracy,” he said.

He urged the party leaders to understand each other and develop the nation so that it can be more dignified.

Francisco Guterres from Fretilin attended the meeting and supported the president's message. “Fretilin wants to maintain peace and stability in this country,” he said.

According to Guterres, the clashes occurred as a result of provocative statements from some of those attending the national conference which criticized and harmed the dignity of Fretilin.

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