8 days to the vote

For once, Dili is not dominating the entire attention of everything here in TL. Election campaigning commenced in earnest on 23 March, with presidential candidates moving about the countryside, and according to campaign schedules, appears to indicate a return to Dili on about 4 April, presumably for a major campaign here.

News reports show that the usual political bagging of opponents occurs here like everywhere else. There are a few claims of breaking election rules and the odd bit of roughing up of opponent’s supporters. But for the moment, this seems to be happening on the countryside campaign trail.

In most respects, Dili is very quiet. The Fatuhada area appears to be the only area where there have been regular security incidents of late. Perhaps the introduction of a permanent police station in Bairo Pite has helped keep Bairo Pite quieter. There seems to be nothing to suggest that one should be particularly concerned about moving about in general.

Campaign supporters are seen at off intervals moving about Dili on open-topped trucks, waving a few flags and doing the odd bit of chanting. It just looks like this is just a bit of a reminder to keep things going until the candidates return to Dili in a few days time.

I have seen Fretilin and Lu’Olu posters in a few places but for the moment, that’s all I have seen and some of these have already been partially removed. Based on the streets, you would hardly know an election is a week away.

According to the campaign schedules, the candidates ought to be back here on Wednesday, giving 4 days of campaigning here.

2 thoughts on “8 days to the vote

  1. Hi:

    I’d like to email the writer of this site. Can you send me an email address to easttimorbook*at*gmail.com?

    I’m doing some work for Lonely Planet.


  2. Naturally, I will be contacting Lonely Planet for confirmation before proceeding down that path.

    On another matter, in my post above, I said “4 days of campaigning”. I have a minor correction. Candidates are not permitted to campaign on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, so Wednesday and Thursday in Dili should be very active as far as candidates are concerned.

    However, I assume supporters can do what they like until Monday.

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