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UN calls for calm in Timor vote
Country's outgoing president warns of violence during Monday's elections.
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2007 09:15 GMT
Tensions have been rising in the run-up
to Monday's elections [Reuters]
The United Nations has appealed for calm in the run-up to next Monday's elections in East Timor as the country's outgoing president warned of possible violence during the vote.
 
In a statement, the 15-member UN Security Council called on all parties to ensure that "free, fair and peaceful elections" take place next week.
It said the vote marked "a significant milestone in the democratic process in the country", the youngest and poorest in Asia.
 
The call follows escalating tensions in East Timor with sporadic clashes between supporters of rival parties and candidates.
On Wednesday, Xanana Gusmao, the country's president, warned that provocations from an unnamed group could spark violence during the elections.
 
Gusmao who is not running for re-election as president, was speaking at a rally for the newly formed National Congress of Reconstruction of Timor (CNRT).
 
Gusmao has said he intends to join the party with the aim of gaining the prime minister's post, which holds much more power than the presidency.
 
The CNRT has the same initials in Portuguese as an umbrella group that sought independence during a UN-supervised referendum in 1999 in which East Timor voted to split from Indonesia.
 
Mari Alkatiri, a former prime minister, has alleged the new party was deliberately given a misleading name to confuse and deceive voters.
 
Alkatiri is secretary-general of Fretilin, which led the independence struggle and which is fielding a former senior guerrilla fighter, Fransisco Guterres, as its presidential candidate.
 
Five other candidates are running for election in the first presidential ballot since the country became independent in 2002.
Source:
Agencies
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