May 28th, 2007 07:11 EST
Election Agreement in Timor-Leste
The head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) has welcomed the signing of a document that aims to foster a free and fair election at the end of June.
In a statement, UNMIT chief Atul Khare congratulated all 16 parties for their participation and willingness to reach an agreement.
“The Accord commits the winning party to representing the voices of the majority while listening to and accommodating the needs of the minority,” he said. “It will also ensure that the minority will adopt a constructive role as a dynamic opposition capable of providing democratic checks and balances.”
Mr. Khare also said the new parliament “will need a strong and vibrant opposition to ensure that democracy continues to mature in Timor-Leste.”
The Political Party Accord covers basic principles of governance after the elections, committing all parties to a “constructive and inclusive democratic process for the new government and opposition,” UNMIT said in a news release.
Also in Dili on Friday, the political parties signed a “Code of Conduct” that commits all parties, their candidates, their representatives and supporters to accept the results, or to challenge them only in competent courts; and to campaign positively through programmes of action not personal criticism of other candidates.
The Code of Conduct was drafted and approved by the national authorities charged with running the parliamentary election.
UNMIT has been helping to support all aspects of the 2007 presidential and parliamentary electoral process in Timor-Leste, which the world body helped to shepherd to independence in 2002.