Source: East Timor GovernmentThu. March 01, 18:32h Organised by the National Electoral Commission (CNE),the 2012 presidential election candidates signed, on February 28 at the Convention Center in Dili, a "Pact of Peaceful Election". The signing of the Pact aims to ensure national stability in the upcoming general elections, on March 17 presidential and legislative in June.
The event began with a traditional ceremony, presented by representatives of the elders of the 13 districts, with the offering of betel leaves and arecas (areca palm) to the candidates for President of the Republic and representatives of political parties as a symbol of peace.
It followed a public debate among the 12 candidates present, with Francisco Xavier do Amaral the only candidate absent for health reasons. The debate was led by Father Martinho Gusmão, Commissioner of the CNE, which presented topics such as: Reason to be a candidate for President; Pluralism and National Unity, Gender Equality and Contribution to the State if not elected as President.
All candidates presented their vision and mission, and each pledged that, if elected as President of the Republic, they would ensure the defence of the Constitution, national unity, and contribute to peace, stability and development of the country.
The President of the CNE, Faustino Cardoso Gomes, mentioned that "this event is historic because it raises awareness of the electorate, the owners of this electoral process, in order to form an agreement and establish responsibility for a peaceful election thto ensure stability and national unity".