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30 August 1999 State Department Report, Monday, August 30, 1999 (East Timor) (210) State Department Deputy Spokesman James Foley briefed. EAST TIMOR REFERENDUM APPEARS TO BE A SUCCESS Foley said that U.S., UN and independent observers consider the referendum held August 30 in East Timor to have been successful. The UN-administered vote was held to determine the local population's views on whether Indonesia should grant East Timor independence. Foley reported that ninety percent of the registered voters participated in the balloting. "That is really an extraordinary figure," he said, and shows the enthusiasm and commitment of the people of East Timor to undertake this democratic consultation." Foley said that security concerns did lead to the temporary closing of a small number of polling stations, "but the reports we have indicate that none of these interruptions interfered with individuals' ability to vote." He acknowledged that two UN employees were injured and one killed in one incident, but said the overall process was peaceful. "The United States welcomes this successful vote," Foley said. "We call on all sides to accept the results of the poll regardless of the outcome and to exercise restraint." According to Foley, the vote count will not take place for two more days. Return to Washington File home page




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