|Issue No 111||14 September 2001|
Election Results from East Timor
By HT Lee in Dili
Fretelin as expected has topped the poll in East Timor's first free democratic election and the violence predicted by some has not eventuated.
This election is for an 88 member Constitutional Assembly which will be sworn in on 15 September and their task over the next three months is to discuss and formulate East Timor's constitution. The Assembly consist of 75 nationally elected representatives and 13 from the districts. The national representatives are elected on a PR system while the district representatives are elected by the first past the post system.
Although FRETELIN topped the poll nationally with 57.37% of the votes giving it 43 national representatives and 12 from the districts, FRETELIN was five seats short of the absolute two-third majority and will have to depend on the minor parties to push
through the constitutional changes and reform it wants.
FRETILIN's votes fell short of expectation--a minimum of 70% of the votes with a minimum of 60 seats.
The newly formed party--PD (Partido Democratico) did well capturing 8.72% of the votes.
PD was only formed two months ago by former members of the resistance movement in East Timor and the RENENIL students--East Timorese students who studied in Jakarta and who played a crucial role in the lead up to the 30 August 1999 ballot. The chairperson of PD, Fernando de Araujo was in the same goal as Xanna Gusmao in
PD is perceived to be a party without any connection with the Indonesian authority when they were in East Timor, and a party whose members played a crucial role in the independence struggle and have not been tainted. They were able to use their network to mobilise the people.
This is a party to watch out for in the future. This election also saw the elected 23 women to the Assembly.
The UN send in a big team mainly from Europe to try to teach the East Timorese to 'suck eggs'--they thought because the East Timorese are mainly uneducated they do not understand the 'democratic' process of elections we in the west understands.
However, they forgot that the East Timoresse had participated in elections under Indonesian occupation, although they were forced to vote for 'Gokar 1,' 'Gokar 2,' and 'Gokar 3.' And before that they were under Portuguese colonial rule for over 400 years--this has made them politically street-wise.
They might not be as educated as we are, but when it comes to political sophistication they can teach us a few tricks. They gave FRETELIN a big working majority because FRETELIN had been fighting against the Indonesian occupation since 1975. But they were not prepared to give FRETELIN an absolute majority--had we been put in a similar situation we would have given FRETELIN an absolute majority.
∑ PDC (Partido Democrata Cristao) 1.98% - 2 seats
∑ UDT (Uniao Democratica Timorese 2.26% - 2 seats
∑ PD (Partido Democratico) 8.72% - 7 seats
∑ FRETELIN 57.37% - 43 seats
∑ KOTA (Klibur Oan Timor Asuwain) 2.13% - 2 seats
∑ PNT (Partido Nasionalista Timorense) 2.21% - 2 seats
∑ PSD (Partido Social Democrata) 8.18% - 6 seats
∑ UDC/PDT (Partido Democrata-Cristao de Timor) 0.66% -1 seat
∑ PPT (Partido do Provo de Timor) 2.21% - 2 seats
∑ PST (Partido Socialista de Timor) 1.78% - 1 seat
∑ ASDT (Associacao Social-Democrata Timorense) 7.84% -6 seats
∑ PL (Partai Liberal) 1.10% - 1 seat
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