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Eight candidates to contest presidential election

Dili Weekly - February 27, 2017

Paulina Quintao Eight candidates have confirmed that they will be contesting this year's presidential election after fulfilling the criteria, including the required number of supporters.

Director of the Secretariat for Technical and Electoral Administration (STAE) Acilino Manuel Branco said they had coordinated with the Court of Appeal in terms of verifying the list of supporters for each candidate.

"There were eight candidates in the verification process and at the end the Court of Appeal informed that all of them will move forward to the election scheduled on March 20," he said at a press conference at STAE in Dili.

The candidates are Amorim Vieira, Antonio Maher, Antonio da Conceicao, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, Jose Luis Guterres, Luis Alves Tilman, Angela Freitas and Jose Antonio Neves.

Both Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo and Angela Freitas also contested the 2012 presidential elections.

Based on the schedule, candidates will conduct their political campaign during the period March 3 to 17. Ballots papers will be printed between February 24 and March 13 and then distributed to voting stations in Australia and Portugal, as well as in the municipalities.

He said STAE is also currently completing the accreditation process for international and national observers, including media.

There are over 747,000 registered voters in Timor-Leste, with a further 1,332 overseas voters expected to take part in both the presidential and parliamentary elections.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo appealed to STAE employees to maintain their neutrality and professionalism throughout the elections process.

"As a citizen, each of us has the right to choose any candidate or parties, but as a public servant who is working in the electoral administration you must show your professionalism, especially maintain a rigorous impartiality in your daily work," he said.

To ensure the impartiality of the election process, he also called on all responsible state bodies, including the National Electoral Commission (CNE) and STAE, to adhere to the proper regulations.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/election/election-2017/14368-eight-candidates-to-contest-presidential-election.

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