10 March 2012

Administrative crimes provoke physical confrontation in the general election

Source: Fundasaun Mahein - On February 29th, the day when the presidential campaign for the period 2012-2017 officially began, a small criminal incident took place. From this small incident, there are indications of the possibility of a much larger crime or confrontation occurring between the different sympathizers if the said small crime is not resolved by the presidential candidates involved.

On the first day of campaign that began on 29 February some presidential candidates (CAPREZ) experienced some provocations from sympathizers of other presidential candidates. However, no serious incidents took place because of the tight security provided by the PNTL. There was the Tasi-Tolu incident when the convoy of two different CAPREZs passed one another and their supporters stoned each other. In this confrontation the two different CAPREZs took the initiative to personally calm the situation and prevented further escalation of the incident.

Then there was the very recent incident when the street poster of a candidate was cut down by sympathizers of the opposing party, which Fundasaun Mahein considers a serious crime, but was not taken seriously by the different CAPREZs. If this same attitude is continually shared by the different CAPREZs then there could come a time when confrontations will occur between the different sympathizers in the referred districts due to the large number of supporters in those places.

Therefore, Fundasaun Mahein would like to appeal to the relevant institutions to investigate the street poster incident in Baucau and process this case in accordance with the relevant law. Without such an investigation and legal process CAPREZ sympathizers will continually engage in this kind of provocative behavior that may lead to other criminal acts which may then threaten the upcoming national election.

Fundasaun Mahein would also like to use this opportunity to appeal to all the CAPREZ campaign teams to lead their militants and supporters along a peaceful presidential campaign. Fundasaun Mahein would also like to recommend to the relevant institutions such as CNE, STAE and PNTL to seriously attend to some of the crimes that have taken place thus far.

Fundasaun Mahein would also like to recommend to STAE and CNE to properly enforce the various laws against administrative crimes such as use of government vehicles for political campaigns, use of loud motorbike exhausts, use of banned symbols and others. CNE and STAE must take responsibility for these irregularities given that the PNTL will not be able confront these issues during campaigns as it would trigger dangerous confrontations between a large crowd of CAPREZ sympathizers and the PNTL. Also, the removal of the PNTL from attending administrative crimes would also mean that the PNTL would be able to fully concentrate on physical conflicts or violent confrontations between the various sympathizers. (FG).

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