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East Timor Code Of Conduct Signed

Extract from UN Daily Highlights

Parties sign campaign code of conduct for UN-supervised ballot on East Timor autonomy proposal.

Supporters and opponents of the autonomy proposal for East Timor signed on Monday a Code of Conduct for the campaign period leading up to the United Nations supervised ballot on 30 August.

Before signing the document on behalf of the United Nations, the Secretary-General's Special Representative, Ian Martin, noted that the Code provides for both sides to campaign freely without disruption or obstruction and commits campaigners to avoid inflammatory or defamatory language.

The Code also obligates participants to avoid and condemn political violence or intimidation and not to respond to provocation by others, except by reporting it to the Indonesian police and to the UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), Mr. Martin added.

Domingo Soares of the United Front for East Timor Autonomy and Leandro Isaac of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance signed the document on behalf of their parties. Also attending the ceremony were Bishop Belo, Ambassador Tarmidzi, Chairman of the Indonesian Task Force responsible for liaising with UNAMET, as well as the heads of the Portuguese and Indonesian observer missions.

Announcing that the campaign period would begin on 14 August, Mr. Martin noted that the spirit of cooperation between the parties and the discussion of the code of conduct had been excellent.

"If that spirit of cooperation is maintained and reflected locally in all parts of the Territory, then I trust we can look forward to a peaceful campaign," he said.

On Saturday, one day before the end of voter registration, UNAMET reported that more than 446,000 voters had signed up both in and outside East Timor. Some 900 people have been rejected so far mostly because they were underage, but they will have the chance to appeal.

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