Friday, April 27, 2007

Partido Democratico Announces Formal Backing of Ramos-Horta

MediaNet Press Release Wire

April 27, 2007 Friday 4:43 PM AEST

Partido Democratico Announces Formal Backing of Ramos-Horta

Dili - 27th April 2007 - Yesterday Presidential candidate Dr Jose
Ramos-Horta and leader of the Partido Democratico (PD) Fernando
Lasama de Arajo held a joint press conference to formally announce
PD's backing for Ramos-Horta in the upcoming second round
presidential elections set to take place on 9th May 2007.

This announcement means that Ramos-Horta now has the backing of all
major candidates that didn't make it from the first round elections,
demonstrating a clear dissatisfaction with the current Fretilin
regime and its conduct during the first round ballot.

At today's press conference Lasama stated, "Fretilin have
demonstrated a total disregard for the people of our country,
thinking that they can buy peoples votes as if it was a possession. A
vote is more than that, it is a civil right and is not for sale. A
free and fair election is the right of our people, one earnt through
many years of suffering and conflict and must be protected.

Today brave people from the village of Watulari protested in person
to parliament about Fretilin intimidation forcing them to sell their
voting cards.

"This is unacceptable," Lasama continued, "therefore, with our focus
on the future, we recognise the need to instigate change through
democratic means, and give our full backing to Jos Ramos-Horta as our
Presidential candidate of choice.

"Mindful of the failures of the Fretilin government over the last
five years, failure to put the interests of the people before
themselves, failure to work with all aspects of Timorese society,
failure to work with opposition parties in the national interest, we
must endorse Ramos-Horta to avoid an unending conflict for the country."

Ramos-Horta stated in the press conference, "I am proud to stand here
today next to Fernando Lasama de Arajo in a call for free and fair
elections in East Timor. I have voiced my concerns about conduct in
the first round publicly, and also in private talks with foreign
ambassadors. I have called upon them to assist in the elimination of
intimidation, in vote tampering, in the acts of government ministers
abusing the free access cards they are given to polling stations.

"I once again call for the establishment of a free society where
people are free to execute their democratic rights of voting free
from intimidation and corruption. I will work with all people, all
parties to build a better future for our people. I will work to hold
to account those that abuse the democratic system to build a country
where all are free from the chains of poverty and suppression. Where
all have the right to an education, to a roof over their heads, to
food and clothing, and most importantly a country built on peace and

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