17 APRIL 2007
PRIME MINISTER DEMANDS INVESTIGATION
ON ABUSIVE POLLING STATIONS ACCESS
Prime Minister Dr. Ramos-Horta learnt through the
media that “several members of the government and
other senior state officials got unrestricted
access passes to the polling areas from the
official Technical Administrative Electoral
Secretariat (STAE)”, during the first round of
the presidential election. These type of pass –
so called “Livre Acesso” – is not covered by the electoral regulations.
According to the reports which were never
contradicted by the relevant electoral authority,
“11 general access passes were requested by the office of the Prime Minister”.
The Prime Minister informs that a request was
never made to issue access passes to the polling
areas by him nor by his office at all.
Furthermore, he did not authorize anyone to request the passes.
Dr. Ramos-Horta expresses his preoccupation for
these facts indicate that the office of the Prime
Minister, without either his knowledge or the
knowledge of his Chief of Staff, was improperly used to obtain the passes.
The Prime Minister decided that this serious
matter must be investigated in order to find out
on what grounds the passes to the polling areas
were issued and who requested them.
Moreover, the people of Timor-Leste deserve an
explanation by the competent authority about the
reason why members of the government might need
unrestricted access to polling stations on polling day.
The integrity of the election and the credibility
of all its agents require urgent elucidation of
this issue. The workings of public services
competent to organize elections as well as of all
State institutions need to be transparent to the public. –