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UN congratulates Timor-Leste for peaceful and orderly run-off poll

16 April 2012 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his top envoy in Timor-Leste have congratulated the people of the country on the successful holding today of the second round of the presidential election.

“The peaceful and orderly manner in which the people of Timor-Leste exercised their right to vote, reflects once again their commitment to stability, democracy and national unity,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General reiterates the continued commitment of the United Nations to supporting the forthcoming parliamentary election in July,” it added.

Francisco Guterres faced off against Jose Maria de Vasconcelos in today’s poll, which followed the first round held on 17 March.

Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Timor-Leste, Ameerah Haq, reported that the second round went off “very smoothly,” having witnessed some of the balloting first-hand.

“I visited five polling stations and I was very impressed to see Timorese men, women, citizens, casting their vote, continuing with their commitment to the democratic principles that have enshrined this nation,” she stated.

“I want to congratulate the electoral management bodies for their great work in conducting the elections today.”

Ms. Haq, who is head of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), added that much of the credit also goes to the national police force, known as the PNTL, for enabling this round of voting to take place in an environment of calm.

“This shows that the Timorese police have come a long way in being in the front seat of this electoral process.”

Electoral assistance, institutional development and capacity-building of the PNTL are the main tasks the UN peacekeeping mission is responsible for until its expected departure on 31 December this year from the small Asian nation that the world body shepherded to independence in 2002.

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