I finally got to go to a parliamentary election rally yesterday. Firstly, I dropped in to the scheduled PD (Democratic Party) rally at Democracy Field. No-one there except a contingent of UN police waiting for a rally to happen. It didn’t look like anything was going to happen so I gave up and had a coffee at Cafe Brasil.
Cruised up the road for the CNRT rally at the stadium. This one had the numbers alright and eventually managed several thousand. They had terrible trouble with their sound system and I reached my limit as far as how many times I wanted to hear anyone say the word “testing” over the microphones.
Eventually Xanana arrived with Kirsty and located himself up in the stand. A bit later, President Ramos-Horta arrived to receive his CNRT cap and t-shirt. These things are pretty slow and after about an hour and a half, my patience departed and I left before Xanana and the President made their way to the bandstand erected in the middle of the football field, from where they both gave speeches.
I saw no inkling of violence either in the stadium or in the streets outside where many CNRT trucks full of people had been cruising about town.
Anecdotally, it seems that CNRT will be one of the major forces in this election and it will be interesting to see just which parties lose voter share to them when compared to the presidential election results.