FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
30 March 2007
Fretilin condemns Ramos-Horta’s use of Fretilin symbol
East Timor’s governing Fretilin party has asked the National Electoral Commission to act to prevent the fraudulent use of the Fretilin flag by presidential candidate Jose Ramos-Horta.
The wearing of tee shirts printed with the Fretilin flag and a slogan in the local Tetum language “Fretilin Mudanca – Vota Ba Ramos Horta” (“Fretilin Reform – Vote for Ramos Horta”) sparked fighting between supporters of rival candidates in the eastern town of Lospalos yesterday, Fretilin Deputy Secretary-General Jose Manuel Fernandes told a news conference in Dili today.
Fernandes, representing Fretilin presidential candidate Francisco Guterres “Lu Olo”, said Fretilin asked the electoral commission to investigate and take action yesterday. “The Ramos Horta campaign is misusing the Fretilin flag, which is also our party’s election symbol, in order to deceive the electorate,” said Fernandes who displayed one of the tee-shirts at the conference.
“Fretilin regrets that Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is allowing Fretilin symbols to be used in his campaign, when he is not even a member of our party,” he said. “Use of Fetilin’s symbol by a non-Fretilin-endorsed candidate, is a breach of the law and regulations regarding political parties and elections.
“If Ramos Horta is prepared to employ these tactics to get elected, how would he use his power as head of state?”
In another incident yesterday afternoon, supporters of dismissed army soldier Vincente “Railos” da Conceicao attacked a convoy of Fretilin supporters near Atebae in Maliana district. Fernandes said about 20 members of the Railos group set up a road block and threw stones at Fretilin trucks.
A United Nations Special Commission of Inquiry has recommended “Railos” be prosecuted for his role in an attack on army barracks in Taci Tolu and the deaths of nine people on May 24 last year.
Fernandes called on leaders of other parties to follow Fretilin’s lead and urge their supporters not to engage in violence.
For more information contact: Jose Manuel Fernandes: (+670) 7342170 (Dili)
Mari Alkatiri (+670) 733 2360 (Dili) Filomeno Aleixo: (+670) 7243460 (Dili) Arsenio Bano: (+670) 723 0023 (Dili)