TITLE=EAST TIMOR VOTES (L - 2ND UPDATE)
// Re-issuing to correct CR number //
INTRO: Hundreds of thousands of people in East Timor
have taken part in a United Nations-supervised
referendum on whether they want to remain a part of
Indonesia or become independent, nearly a quarter of a
century after Jakarta invaded and annexed the former
Portuguese colony. Violence, blamed on pro- and anti-
independence factions in the days leading up to the
vote, had raised concerns that the referendum might be
derailed, but as correspondent Nick Simeone reports
from East Timor's capital, Dili, the chief United
Nations official in the disputed territory says he is
satisfied with the way the voting went.
TEXT: The official results from Monday's referendum
are not expected for at least a week, but already
the special U-N representative for East Timor,
Jamsheed Marker, believes history has been made.
/// MARKER ACT ///
Whatever the outcome of the ballot, today the
eagle of liberty has spread its proud wings over
the people of East Timor. And nothing, by God's
grace, will ever chase it away.
/// END ACT ///
But seven polling locations had to be closed
temporarily because of security concerns, including
threats that anti-independence militias were operating
The referendum had already been postponed twice
because of violence between pro- and anti-independence
factions, and Monday's vote was not without some
scattered incidents of violence in outlying areas.
Still, the vast majority of the more than 450,000
registered voters appeared not to be intimidated.
United Nations' electoral officer Jeff Fisher.
/// FISHER ACT
I think it is reasonable to extrapolate a figure
in the ninety percentile as far as a projected
turnout is concerned.
/// END ACT ///
But whether this referendum was a success and whether
it will become a turning point that helps decide East
Timor's future will be judged not by Monday's
balloting but by whether pro-independence and pro-
Jakarta forces respect the results. (Signed)
30-Aug-1999 10:57 AM EDT (30-Aug-1999 1457 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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