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East-Timor

 | 
Frédéric Durand
, 
Christine Cabasset-Semedo

Part 3. Politics, legitimacy and electoral processes

Elections and Social Dimensions of Democracy, Lessons from Timor-Leste

Rui Graça Feijó

Texte intégral

1 - From 1975 to the Independence

1On May 20, 2002, Timor-Leste became the first independent nation of the twenty-first century. Kofi Annan was present at the ceremony that marked the end of the UN rule (generally labeled ‘benevolent autocracy’), as was Sergio Vieira de Mello, the main face of the UN operation in the territory between September 1999 and May 2002, and a great number of international dignitaries, amongst whom special mention is due to Megawati Sukarnoputri, then President of the Republic of Indonesia – that had invaded the territory in December 1975 only to be defeated by a popular referendum under UN supervision on August 30, 1999, and had then engaged in a fortnight of folly and destruction – and Jorge Sampaio, President of the colonial power that claimed sovereignty over Timor-Leste for four and a half centuries. No greater show of convergence and congratulatory mood could have been dreamed of.

2At midnight on May 20, 2002, in the ample field of Tasi Tolu, a few kilometers west of Dili, where Pope John Paul II had been welcomed several years before, an enormous crowd witnessed peacefully the rising of the Timorese national flag, heard the new national anthem, and saw Xanana Gusmão deliver the oath of allegiance as the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Timor-Leste, promising to respect and defend the Constitution of the new country. Indeed, under the UN administration, competitive general elections for a constituent assembly were held to international applause, and considered free and fair, on August 30, 2001. That Assembly had in due course voted for the new Constitution and decided to assume legislative powers for the first legislature. Fresh direct elections for the presidency were held with two opposing candidates – and Xanana, conquered there and then his constitutional mandate defeating by the vote, not only by his historical, political and military – that is, revolutionary-legitimacy, the man who had read the proclamation of independence back in November 28, 1975. A government based on the parliamentary majority was ready to be sworn in later in the day. The judicial system had embryonic forms on the ground. The press was free to report. No stain on the democratic credentials of the new regime was visible.

  • 169 Feijo (R.) 2006, Timor-Leste: Paisagem Tropical com Gente Dentro
  • 170 see among others, Hohe (T.) 2002, “Totem Polls: Indigenous Concepts and ‘Free and Fair’ Elections i (...)

3When the sun rose the East, Timor had become – literally overnight – an independent country with a (nominally) democratic form of government and political organization. Political institutions were now managed by the Timorese themselves, and the cost of decisions would now fall entirely on their shoulders. Elsewhere, I argued that this circumstance implied that Timor has not passed through a typical period of transition from authoritarian rule to democracy169. Indeed, Timor was set on the road to consolidate the virgin democratic institutions and practices without an actual transition – and thus was prone to witness a phase of democratic consolidation both longer in its temporal extension and perhaps more agitated in the sense of a pressing need to coordinate the new political approach (based on internationally accepted democratic principles) to the social realities of one people who had never witnessed such a form of political organization and kept faith in historically grounded forms of policy making – as has been noticed by numerous observers who have both called the attention to the traditional forms of political organization that existed on the terrain, and cast doubts on the readiness of the Timorese to fully endorse the international community “paradigm” of democratic state.170

4Five years have now elapsed – and five years is the constitutional measure of one political cycle, being the length of both the mandate of the President of the Republic and of the National Parliament. In fact, the end of the first political cycle in Timor-Leste was protracted and may be said to have begun somehow earlier than anticipated with the crisis in the early months of 2006, and has lasted until the post-electoral new government was formed and sworn in place.

5The lines above sketch a framework for the analysis of the recent electoral cycle, assuming that the period of democratic consolidation is rather long and calls for a dialogue with features more commonly associated with previous steps on “transition/consolidation” road. I will now present and discuss the results from those elections.

2 - The electoral cycle of 2007: a systemic perspective

  • 171 See Gonzales (S.) 2003, “Dynamics of Conflict and Displacement in the 2006 Dili Crisis”. A fuller d (...)

6The first cycle of political life in independent Timor-Leste came about with the combination of presidential and parliamentary elections that took place between April and the end of June. In striking contrast with the rebellious events that marked the first very serious crisis in the new country in April and May 2006, elections were generally peaceful, mobilized the electorate in a significant manner, and produced results that were overwhelmingly recognized by all actors as truthful to the voters’wishes, and by international observers as free and fair. These elections deserve to be singled out on a number of accounts.171

7First, they were organized by the Timorese authorities, with the support of international aid, in accordance with the broad rules set out in the Constitution. As such, they reveal the depth of acceptance of constitutional procedures much to be stressed in a young democracy faced with enormous problems.

  • 172 The UN Electoral Certification Team produced several critical reports on all steps of the electoral (...)

8Secondly, all major political actors in Timor have placed their hope of gaining power in these elections, refusing any way out to the crisis that erupted in 2006 which would not be centered on this constitutional device. Special words of praise are due to the President of the Republic, who refrained from extending his power further than would be constitutionally allowed, or even making use of constitutional powers related to the declaration of the state of emergency (which might have caused serious delays to the electoral process); to Ramos Horta who accepted to head a government not of his choice in the interim period necessary to prepare and hold elections; and to the vast majority of parliamentarians who understood the need for such an interim period before elections could actually be called, and gave their best to offer the country an electoral regime that has been criticized (by Timorese players and international organizations alike172) for a good number of shortcomings, but which allowed elections to be held in a fair and free way. A sign of democratic maturity is clearly visible in these options.

  • 173 See also Feijo (R.) 2006, op. cit., pp. 98-109, for a justification of this option and part of the (...)

9Third, the sequence of elections (first the presidential, later the parliamentarian) has proved to be well adjusted to the situation in the field. Voting first in an election with two rounds, enabling voters to chose their candidate in the first round and to oppose the one they most disliked in the second and final round, that is, giving the voters the opportunity to adapt to the circumstances or correct their own vote, the system was important to deal with the imperfections encountered during the first voting procedure (notably at vote counting and tabulating). Also, the choice of the symbol of national unity before that of political parties, by nature more divisive and prone to radicalization, was a positive contribution to the peaceful grounding of the electoral system. The fact that this sequence is bound to be repeated in the future (unless a dissolution of parliament occurs that would distance elections more than they are normally separated and inverts the situation) deserves mention, as this sequence was a hotly contested issue prior to this year’s electoral cycle The press release of the Presidency of the Republic on 16 January 2006 conveys abundant evidence in this respect.173

10In the fourth place, elections revealed a plural country and arranged a new distribution of power leading to the defeat of the former ruling party which had scored a comfortable victory in the ‘local elections’ held not long before, and had ample control of the electoral machinery through its dependency on government. To this we turn now.

3 - The 2007 electoral cycle: clear electoral choices

The Presidential race

  • 174 Mattoso (J.) 2005, A Dignidade. Konis Santana e a Resistência Timorense, is the critical reference (...)

11Xanana was elected as President of the Republic (PR), after stating various times he was not seeking the job, and sworn in as the first President a few minutes after midnight, on May 20, 2002. During that electoral campaign, several leaders of Fretilin – the party that had won the elections for the constitutional assembly earlier in August 2001-distanced themselves from the candidate without clearly opposing him. This position came not long after Fretilin had left the CNRT (established as a nationalist unitarian platform in 1998), thus precipitating its dissolution and the emergence of a “political party polity”; its roots can also be traced back to the 1980s, when Xanana broke off with Fretilin and sought to establish a new form of nationalist leadership174. All those years of accumulating tension were only appeased by the momentous tasks deriving from the referendum and later from the proclamation of independence. The relations between the PR and the Prime Minister were austere, but actually only succumbed in the wake of the rebellion in May 2006, and the clarification of power was necessary on various grounds.

Table 1 - National Results of the First Ballot in the Presidential Election, April 9, 2007

Numbers

%

Total Registered Voters

522,933

100.00

Total Number of Voters

427,712

81.79

Blank Votes

7,735

1.81

Null Votes

15,534

3,60

Polling Stations

705

-

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo

112,666

27.89

Avelino Coelho Shalar Kosi FF

8,338

2.06

Francisco Xavier do Amaral

58,125

14.39

Manuel Tilman

16,354,

4.09

Lúcia Maria Lobato

35,789

8.86

José Ramos Horta

88,102

21.81

João Viegas Carrascalão

6,928

1.72

Fernando Lasama de Araujo

77,459

19.18

Source: CNE

12Xanana made it clear he would not seek reelection – and therefore he would not be playing the role many had “reserved” for him in the Constitution-thus opening up the door for a process in which all the players (lacking the sort of charisma still claimed by the historical leader) would fight for the job on equal terms. Fretilin – as the majority party-was then confronted with the need to express a clear point of view: either to field their own candidate or support someone who might bridge gaps and enjoy wider support. They chose to present a candidate of their own, Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, the speaker of the house. It was the very first candidate to be publicly presented, so it must correspond to a deeply meditated political option of ‘going alone’.

13On their part, those who opposed Fretilin took advantage of the electoral system of a two-round election to field a number of candidates who would test their popularity in the first round, to gather around the one who would secure enough votes to be in the second round. The gamble was, of course, that a second round was necessary (no single candidate would have more than half the number of valid votes) and that Fretilin’s candidate would pass the hurdle and fight the second round. As a matter of fact, reality proved to be in accordance with these estimates, as seen in Table 1.

14Lu Olo and Ramos Horta acceded the second round, and Tilman was the only defeated candidate to transfer his votes to Lu Olo, all others rallying behind Ramos Horta.

Table 2 - National Result of the Second and Final ballot of the Presidential Election, May 9, 2007

Numbers

%

Total Registered Voters

524,073

100.00

Total Number of Voters

424,712

81.00

Blank Votes

2,015

0.47

Null Votes

9,238

2.19

Polling Stations

705

-

Francisco Guterres Lu Olo

127,342

30.82

José Ramos Horta

285,535

69.18

Source: CNE

15Although Lu Olo managed to capitalize almost all the votes previously given to Tilman (actually, he fell short by less than 2,000 votes), the coalition behind Ramos Horta carried the day by a landslide (and this candidate surpassed the sum of votes in the first round for the candidates that rallied behind him by 10,000 votes). The first act of the play was over, and now Fretilin had lost its gamble. As far as electoral behavior is concerned, the fluctuation of votes between the two rounds was minimal, suggesting a consistent option on the part of electors. This fact will be brought into consideration further down, for it suggests a deep bond between the Timorese main politicians and their electors

16Three remarks on the figures presented above are due. First, to point the fact that the electoral register was changed between the two ballots and increased by over one thousand new voters – a fact that suggests that the tendency exists for this register to grow increasingly away from the number of actual voters because deceased people are not removed (only additions were taken, according to some sources – although no document was found with clear instructions on the issue); levels of abstention must take this fact into consideration.

17Second, to register the high level of participation, almost equal on both ballots, at over 80%, in spite of the basic electoral register used being several years old (which may have increased the “technical” abstention, that is, the presence of deceased people in the records).

18Third, to notice the number of blank and null votes has decreased from very high levels to figures comparable with international standards, which may be due both to voters’ education and to better means at the disposal of those who count them.

The Parliamentary elections

19On June 30, electors were called for the third time in three months to cast their vote, now for political parties. No less than fourteen parties entered this race. Rules for this election were relatively new in comparison with what had happened in the previous party election. A minimum of 3% was imposed as a threshold to guarantee access to the National Parliament, and the d’Hondt method was now adopted for the transformation of votes into seats. The results were as follows:

Table 3 - National Results in the Parliamentary Elections, June 30, 2007

Voters & votes

% vote

Seats

Total Number of Registered Electors

529,198

100.00

-

Total Number of Voters

426,21

80.5

-

Blank Votes

2,636

0.6

-

Null Votes

7,97

1.9

-

Polling Stations

705

-

-

FRETILIN

120,592

29.0

21

CNRT

100,175

24.1

18

ASDT/PSD

65,358

15.8

11

PD

46,946

11.3

8

PUN

18,896

4.5

3

KOTA/PPT

13,294

3.2

2

UNDERTIM

13,274

3.2

2

PNT

10,057

2.4

0

PDRT

7,718

1.9

0

PR

4,408

1.1

0

PDC

4,3

1.0

0

PST

3,982

1.0

0

UDT

3,575

0.9

0

PMD

2,878

0.7

0

Source: CNE

20The immediate outcome of this table is the inexistence of a single party majority in parliament, and thus the floor was open for a debate on the formation of government. But this single fact is due to a huge loss of electoral confidence by Fretilin. Back in 2001, Fretilin scored close to 60 percent of the vote, and now its strength was halved. Of great importance is to recall that the vote for Fretilin in the capital district, Dili, was down to circa twenty percent – a symbol of the mistrust vis-à-vis the key figures of this party in the largest and more politically active region of the country, the one to larger exposition to political activity and media coverage. This is the most notable fact of this election insofar as it reveals a clear sign of discontent with the route Fretilin was leading the country.

21The second noticeable fact is the emergence of a new party with national relevance – Xanana’s CNRT. Although there are no voter’s surveys or statistical data on vote transfer, it does not seem far from reality to suggest that this new party gained most of its strength in the voters abandoning Fretilin. Taken together, these two facts seem to indicate that the clarification of the (antagonistic) relationship between Fretilin and Xanana in the wake of the crisis of 2006 has found its electoral expression, and is perhaps the major new phenomenon of the current political cycle.

22The third feature is the exclusion from parliament of two parties on grounds of the 3% threshold law (PNT, 2.42%; and PDRT, 1.96%). In fact, each MP elected by CNRT “costed” 1.31% and Fretilin 1.37% of the total vote, less than the percentage of these two smaller parties.

23The comparison between voting patterns in the presidential first round and the parliamentary elections, although the field of candidates was different, should also be view in detail.

Table 4 - Comparisons between presidential's first ballot, and parliamentary elections for selected candidates

Votes 1st round

% vote

Votes parliamentary election

% vote

Lu Olo/Fretilin

112,666

27,89

120,592

28.78

Fernando Lasama Araujo/PD

77,459

19.18

46,946

11.33

Francisco Xavier do Amaral + Lúcia Lobato/ASDT/PSD

110.414

27.25

65,358

15.77

Manuel Tilman/KOTA/PPT

16,534

4.09

13,294

3.20

José Ramos Horta/CNRT

88,102

21.81

100,175

24.26

Source: composition based on the previous tables

24Fretilin and Lu Olo score fairly similar results, polling between 110,000-120,000 votes (or 130,000 if one considers the second round with the support of Manuel Tilman). Three results of the same magnitude in a short lapse of time award consistency to the voting procedures and the dimension of their support. Manuel Tilman and the coalition KOTA/PPT also score very consistent results (and were able to “migrate” as a group to Lu Olo camp in the second round of the presidential race). Ramos Horta, presented as an independent candidate, before CNRT was formally launched, scores less, but not more than 2.5 percentual points than Xanana-the mythical leader of the Resistance.

25In the cases of Fernando Lasama, Lucia Lobato and Xavier do Amaral, their own parties or coalition of parties could not secure their good performance, and lost a substantial number of votes. It must be kept in mind that there were far more political parties (14) than presidential candidates (8), and the number of votes cast which did not translate into elected seats is significantly high – almost 40,000, or 9% of total number of votes cast. In this case we may consider that there is room for an improved relationship between political leaders and party organizations.

  • 175 Cabasset-Semedo (C.) and Durand (F.) 2007, “Les elections présidentielles de 2007 à Timor-Leste.” p (...)

26All being considered, the emerging scenario is that of an electorate that is much less volatile than could be expected. This image is further stressed by a major feature yet to be presented and discussed: regional distribution of votes. It has nevertheless been noticed by several other observers, not least Cabasset-Semedo and Durand.175

National candidatures, regional results

27Much has been written on the internal “fractures” of Timor-Leste, mainly along “ethnic” lines, following the crisis of 2006 and the (re) emergence of the lorosae/loromunu divide. Prior to these events, most commentators had praised the “unity” of the “nation” in the face of the external enemy. The issue is far more important that we can address in the frame of this paper, but some comments derived from the electoral results are perhaps timely.

28Considering the presidential race in the first place, it is important to notice the scores of Lu Olo in the easternmost part of the country: he was the winner in Baucau (66,52%), Lautem (50.99%) and Viqueque (67.97%). Fretilin won in those very same districts on June 30 (62,6%, 45,5% and 59.9%), plus Covalima where a mere 28.5% guaranteed victory (against a sound defeat of Lu Olo with 23.65%). The image of consistency of successive results on a regional basis is thus reinforced in this case: Fretilin is very much the majoritarian political party in the east of the country, consistently polling about 50% or more of the vote. The pattern of consistency and regional relevance can be found in inverted terms in the western part of Timor-Leste, where the very same party hardly reaches the 10% threshold.

29When one considers the local, rather than regional level of powerbase, one case in point is that of Manuel Tilman who performed with a poor 4.09% in the presidential first ballot, but who came in a close second in Ainaro. The KOTA/PPT coalition which he led also came in second place to ASDT/PSD coalition with 18.69% of the vote in the same district, which compares with the 3.20% national score. Manuel Tilman was a political refugee in Portugal, where he once was a MP, and after returning to Timor set his residence in Dili, where he has been the head of his own party and a member of the National Parliament. The relations between this politician and a regional powerbase cannot be simply explained in terms of modern political, constituency-type of policies and behavior.

30Similar kinds of relationships could be established between one politician (and his political party) and segmented parts of the Timorese society. Although the actual results have been “diluted” in the figures for the district of Dili, it was widely spread that Xavier do Amaral had polled a landslide in the refugee camps near Metinaro; and he polled above 45% both in Aileu, Ainaro and Manufahi. As for Lasama, he also has a regional powerbase south and southwest of the capital city (Bobonaro, Ermera and Covalima). Fernanda Borges’PUN is another case in point, scoring a national 4.55%, but peaking in Ermera at 19.67 (and falling in Lautem to a residual 0.54%).

  • 176 One could recall the recurring argument according to which the results of the 2001 election had bee (...)

31All these figures suggest that there is a real sociological meaning for the distribution of votes, which are more consistent from one election to the other than many would have guessed176. The pre-existent social structures of power allocation and distribution should be brought under close scrutiny if one is to grasp the meaning of modern politicking at local level, and to assess the capacity of the present political superstructure to gain roots or to be challenged from below. To put it in other words, what seems to be appearing behind the surface is a complex relationship between the “modern” political party system and some form of “traditional” power structures at local/regional level, which are not mutually exclusive but enter some form of “dialogue”.

32CNRT comes into the picture in a somewhat different perspective. On the one hand, Xanana’s party never rises above 45% of the vote, that is, it does not establish what we could call a “preferential constituency” (even if the fact that its highest score is in Dili itself, and thus in the most urbanized segment of the country itself, cannot be discarded); on the other hand, its score does not fall below 10%, guaranteeing a minimum level of regional representation (this kind of support distribution explains why CNRT has got the lowest ratio of votes per MP).

33As opposed to CNRT’s “balanced” representation of the national opinion, regional (in the case of Fretilin, PD, PSD, ASDT) or even local (KOTA, PUN) currents of opinion find their way into national political life through other parties, which tend to become associated with those “imagined constituencies”.

34The overall pattern is not of a country divided in two. Even in the the area of strongest single-party domination, the east, Lu Olo/Fretilin only represents between half and two-thirds of the vote, and CNRT manages to score close to 15%; on the western side (those districts won on the second ballot by Ramos Horta) the role of “leading party” is fairly divided among the other parties, each one having a peak in one or two districts – which seems to indicate, once again, a close form of articulation of the new political machinery with more deep rooted forms of political organization from the past.

4 - After the Vote

35To sum up the meaning of those results, one might say that a new majority surfaced, and that there is now (explicit) convergence of President, Parliament and Government – something quite banal in presidential or parliamentary regimes, but not necessarily so in semi-presidential ones (in fact, it represents one of the main lines of criticism of the model in the framework of transition and consolidation of democratic regimes). The fact that this new majority – with its own dynamic requiring further attention – gained power through elections generally accepted as free and fair, and acceded the reins of governance in a basically peaceful manner (there were public demonstrations against this, but no serious attempt at blocking the change in government or at challenging the presidential decisions in its proper locus, the supreme court of the land) must be underlined. In many cases of transitions to democracy, the moment at which a government is peacefully replaced by another one formed by the previous opposition after competitive elections marks the moment at which transition ends and consolidation begins. Both Spain (where the socialist Felipe Gonzalez replaced the centrist UCD in 1981) or in Cabo Verde (where the opposition leader defeated the historical PAICV in 1991) are cases in point. In this sense, the electoral cycle of 2007 may be interpreted as a clear sign of progress in the consolidation of democracy in Timor-Leste. It also leaves a number of challenges for the political actors.

Conclusion

36On Election Day, I saw many Timorese exiting the polling station and proudly exhibiting their finger with the ink mark that signified he or she had voted; in the following days, many others still showed their proof of voting with a smile in their faces. Marred with difficulties and problems as they were, the elections of 2007 were a major success: they were organized by the Timorese authorities themselves, supported by international aid, as a form of expression of sovereignty; they took place in the regular period prescribed by the Constitution, in spite of a serious crisis that paralyzed much of the country in 2006; they drove large numbers to vote without fear of disturbances; they showed the vote to be stable and consequential (and presumably not easily subject to forms of manipulation); and they returned a new majority and therefore a new government who succeeded the previous one in a peaceful manner. As such, these elections will be recorded as a landmark in Timorese history: elections are a regular feature in the life of a democratic nation, and these elections have honored their people. So, Timor will have to meditate on what has happened and prepare for the future. The recent cycle of elections has indeed offered the young Timorese democracy a much needed second breadth.

  • 177 Hohe (T.) 2002, op. cit.

37My final argument is that democracy as a regime that empowers the electorate to exert its right of choice requires more than a top-down process of “explaining” how formal voting operates or the mechanics of party policy-making, or a down-up process based on disparate local historical features. Democracy cannot be built upon the “clash of paradigms”177 – nor on the suppression of any popular form of representation. As Calhoun as recently argued:

  • 178 Calhoun (C.), 2007, Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream, p. 19.

Ordinary people in many countries have achieved a modicum of democracy, and a number of other gains, but they did not chose the “race” in which electoral democracy is one of their partial victories (…) Most ordinary people experienced a loss of collective self determination before the eventual gains of (…) democratization. They experienced this loss as the communities and institutions they had created were overrun and undermined by state and market forces (…) And there are threats of similar losses today if neoliberal ideology leads to both the “extensification” and the “intensification” of market economies and capitalist production without provisions of greater equity.178

  • 179 Durand (F.), 2001, “Timor Lorosa’e, 1930-2001: partis politiques et processus électoraux à hauts ri (...)

38The results of the 2007 cycle of elections in Timor-Leste suggest that both mechanisms are at work in the political process. On the one hand there is consistency of voting from one election to the next, which is akin to a low degree of volatility, and which can be read as meaning a competent use of the voting mechanism on the part of the voters at large – a feature that should be underlined given the fact that those voters do have low levels of literacy and do not possess a long record of elections as a means of decision-although elections per se were not so infrequent in the territory over the last thirty years, as shown by Frederic Durand179.

39On the other hand, the regional distribution of votes, and more specifically, the local concentration of votes in some parties, suggests that apart from the “ideological” matrix or policy stances of those organizations, there are “underground” associations, presumably of an inter-personal nature, that affect the performance of the parties. Electoral results cannot simply be read “how much does this party count” in the country, it calls for another question “how much did one community – local, regional, etc-manage to make itself heard at national level”.

40These movements may or may not converge – but even when they converge, there is no mechanical way of articulating them without a previous exercise of translation.

41Translation and its implied capacity to operate in such a way that the speakers of both languages can communicate in a third, common language, as well as the practical need to bring forward to the ground actual, life-size translators, is therefore the key concept to exploit when our purpose is to study the social dimensions of democracy. Timor-Leste will certainly be a good case in this process.

Notes

169 Feijo (R.) 2006, Timor-Leste: Paisagem Tropical com Gente Dentro

170 see among others, Hohe (T.) 2002, “Totem Polls: Indigenous Concepts and ‘Free and Fair’ Elections in East Timor”.

171 See Gonzales (S.) 2003, “Dynamics of Conflict and Displacement in the 2006 Dili Crisis”. A fuller discussion of the systemic features of the new model can be read in Feijó (R.) 2007, “A Timorese Political paradox? The electoral cycle of 2007 and the question of a semipresidential regime”.

172 The UN Electoral Certification Team produced several critical reports on all steps of the electoral process; as for the views of different Timorese, see the documents produced by IFES from March 2006 on.

173 See also Feijo (R.) 2006, op. cit., pp. 98-109, for a justification of this option and part of the criticism it generated.

174 Mattoso (J.) 2005, A Dignidade. Konis Santana e a Resistência Timorense, is the critical reference to this historical background.

175 Cabasset-Semedo (C.) and Durand (F.) 2007, “Les elections présidentielles de 2007 à Timor-Leste.” p 7 (point number 14)

176 One could recall the recurring argument according to which the results of the 2001 election had been unduly marked by the short time allowed for political parties to formalize and legalize. The short notice given would represent a favour to the long established Fretilin, which was to take full advantage of the difficulties created to its adversaries.

177 Hohe (T.) 2002, op. cit.

178 Calhoun (C.), 2007, Nations Matter: Culture, History and the Cosmopolitan Dream, p. 19.

179 Durand (F.), 2001, “Timor Lorosa’e, 1930-2001: partis politiques et processus électoraux à hauts risques”.

Auteur

Rui Graça Feijó (D. Phil Oxon 1984) is currently teaching at Universidade Aberta and also an Associate Researcher at the Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa, where he pursues his research interests in the construction of a democratic state in Timor-Leste. He lived in Timor for an extended period (2004-2006). He was a teacher at UNTL in Díli, and later an UN sponsored Advisor to Presidency of the Timorese Republic. In 2007, he was a member of the CPLP team of electoral observers in the Timorese Presidential elections. In 2006 he published Timor-Leste: Paisagem Tropical com gente dentro (Lisbon, Campo da Comunicação). Contact: rfeijo@univ-ab.pt

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