17 March 2012

Bad roads impede the election security

Fundasaun Mahein, 16 March 2012 Press Release Mahein’s Voice No 31 is an argument on the impact of the
infrastructure, in particular the bad roads that show indications of
impeding the security of the 2012 general election. The importance of
the road is that it facilitates the community in their daily
activities, such as access to health centers, trade, education, road
trips to visit other family members, as well facilitating the security
sector in providing daily road patrols. However, if the condition of
roads is bad then this will have a negative impact on the said
activities particularly on the security of 2012 general election.

In this Mahein’s Voice 31 Fundasaun Mahein did a thorough research on
the condition of the roads and its effect on the work of the PNTL in
securing this general election. Fundasaun Mahein has also sighted some
of the concerns shared by the CNE (National Election Commission) as to
the bad and dangerous conditions of the road which will have a big
impact on this year’s elections.

In our research some of the bad roads that have affected link between
some of the districts and sucos include; the road between Ainaro
district and suku Defawasi, Sub-district Baguia and distric Baucau,
Suco Afaloicai, Sub-district Baguia and district Baucau and Suco
Afaloikai ho Oso-Una .

All of the refereed roads mentioned above will have a negative impact
on the general election because the conditions of these roads are
horrendous and dangerous including the road in Socu Tebabui
Sub-district Bobonaro, District Bobonaro and many more. The roads in
the area of Sub-district Liquidoe towards the city of Aileu have
almost fallen off due to landslides.
In our view the condition of roads mentioned above will also affect
the ability of the PNTL to effectively execute its routine road
patrols as well as its ability to respond to security threats. Also,
the horrendous condition of the roads may provide an opportunity for
unidentified groups to create chaos if these groups know that the PNTL
will have difficulties accessing the area.

Based on the issues discussed above Fundasaun Mahein would like to
recommend to the government and its relevant institutions that:

1. The government facilitates the sharing of information between the
PNTL and the Ministry of Infrastructure. This is important in terms of
providing the PNTL with the right information on the exact location of
horrendous roads so that the PNTL can be better prepared when it needs
to access difficult areas.

2. The PNTL cooperate with the Department of National Land
Transportation in order to provide road signs in areas where there are
dangerous road conditions. This is important in order to provide
precautions during high period of vehicle movements triggered by
political campaigns and election preparations.

3. The government provides excavators on standby and ready for work at
places where the likelihood of landslides are high. This is important
in order to open alternate routes for CNE, STAE and PNTL so these
organizations can carry out their assigned tasks.

4. The PNTL allocate its personnel to the different polling locations
well ahead of polling day.

5. The PNTL, CNE and STAE identify alternative routes in areas where
access is difficult.

6.The PNTL identify areas where difficulty in access by roads will
heighten the possibility of civil disturbance.
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