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Home >> World
UPDATED: 21:24, June 28, 2007
Timor Leste plays down transport hindrance to election
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The government of Timor Leste would use 15 helicopters to bring the ballot boxes from polling stations to districts for counting, due to serious damage to some roads and bridges caused by floods, the prime minister and Electoral Commission said Thursday.

Consecutive days of torrential rains have triggered floods which caused the damage, and vehicles could not pass the roads in the districts of Covalima and Manatuto for four days, said Prime Minister Eastnislau Aleixo da Silva.

"Well, this is the situation has happened. Unfortunately this is because of the weather. We must take measures to minimize or delay any problems may rise in getting all necessary materials for the election take place," he said.

The prime minister said that the problems would not affect the legislative election on Saturday.

"I do not think that would affect the election at all," said Aleixio.

"Helicopters from the United Nations and international forces would be used," he said.

Transporting ballot papers to districts for first counting is crucial, which could affect the speed of total tabulation.

On security, the prime minister ruled out concern of violence. But Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Timor Leste Atul Kahre has said that violence on isolated-areas still poses a major concern for Saturday's election.

Spokesman of the Electoral Commission Martinho Gusmao said that the 15 helicopters have a capacity of 90 times flight.

Over 510,408 people in Timor Leste would cast their votes at 705 polling stations to choose 65 parliament members from 14 political parties, said Spokesman Gusmao.

Over 30,000 people have been living in tents in Dili, capital of the country, since the bloody violence in April last year that killed more than 23 people.

The sacking of 600 military personnel by former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri triggered the resistance led by Alfredo, which then sparked to gang street fighting in the country.

The situation then calm down after thousands of Australian-led multi-national troops arrived in Dili.

Street-gang fighting, rivalry among the political leaders, and rebellion of security forces, are among the problems hitting the nation.

Source: Xinhua

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