Has Timor-Leste left behind its violent past?
Has Timor-Leste left behind its violent past?
Briefing 134 / Asia

东帝汶选举:告别暴力?

I. 概述

东帝汶2012年的大选将是对国家复原能力的重要考验,因为它标志着东帝汶独立10周年。执政联盟已经实施了一些2006年危机后被视为必要的长期改革措施,但是财富的增加使得多方势力对局势的稳定掌有更多决定权。因为每次投票的覆盖面广,以及政治上以问题为基础的弱点,投票的结果仍然难以预测。选举成功的重要性不止在于能保证期待已久的联合国维和使命团的撤出,也能够使国家领导人有信心来应对许多挑战。

与2007年举行大选的时期相比,东帝汶现在明显要和平许多,但是导致脆弱局势的许多根源犹存。政治领导人小圈子间的关系要友好许多,但是人们对于过去尤其是2006年危机的愤怒仍然根深蒂固。失业的年轻人人数不断增加,这在首都帝力为甚。帮派和武术团体的暴力也是时常出现的问题。没人知道这些问题能在多大程度上影响到政治对立,但是任何对这些问题的精心操纵都有可能会成为燃烧弹。

两次投票覆盖范围广,参选者很多,但是真正的较量只在一小拨人们熟悉的政治人士之间进行。在3月17日第一轮总统投票后,以下四位中的两位将很有可能进入4月的第二轮选举,即:现任总统若泽·拉莫斯-奥尔塔(José Ramos-Horta),现任议长费尔南多·拉萨默·德·阿劳霍 (Fernando “Lasama” de Araújo),前任议长弗朗西斯科·古特雷斯·“卢奥鲁” (Francisco Guterres “Lu Olo”),以及前国防部长陶尔·马坦·鲁瓦克(Taur Matan Ruak)。6月下旬将有24个政党参加议会选举,但是只有两个政党看起来有实力赢得多数,即:总理夏纳纳·古斯芒(Xanana Gusmão)所在的重建东帝汶全国代表大会(Congresso Nacional de Reconstrução de Timor-Leste,CNRT)以及领导第一任政府的东帝汶独立革命阵线(Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente,Fretilin)。更有可能的结果是这两个政党中的其中一个会与其它的22个小一些的参选政党组成联盟政府。这次竞选覆盖面广,许多新政党参选,使得议会的选举结果难以预测。

选举开始前的政治紧张局势已经大为平息。尽管暴力犯罪有些许增加,安全局势总体保持稳定。随着竞选季临近和政治升温,国家的执法能力仍然薄弱,这意味着潜在的安全风险的源头还很多。联合国警察和小规模的国际稳定部队(International Stabilisation Force, ISF)能够支持对大规模群众的秩序维护和对暴力的应对,但是安全工作的重点应该放在其它的措施上。公民社会团体可以帮助教育选民和监督对行为准则的遵守情况,也可以阻止武术团体可能在与选举有关的恐吓和暴力事件中扮演代理角色。公共关系应该是计划建立的选举安全响应联合行动中心的一个关键部分。谣言已经引发了暴力,而警察对错误信息的迅疾处理能够帮助维持和平。最大的风险是对政治暴力的几乎有罪不罚,参选人应该清楚的表示不会再姑息此类犯罪。

联合国在保证和平中也能发挥作用。国家部门承担着管理该国独立以来的第二次主要选举的任务,但是联合国代表团应该做好准备通过私下或者公开的步骤来应对任何严重违反选举法律的行为。联合国驻东帝汶13年的一个成果就是人们强烈的意识到它的使命是保证自由和公平的选举,哪怕它扮演的只是一个支持性的角色。

在东帝汶短暂的历史上,选举暴力象征着苦闷的政治斗争, 这种斗争延伸回到反抗斗争和高风险的政治竞争。政治精英们之间的分歧会随着时间逐渐化解,但是在中期内可以采取一些措施来减轻现有的压力。这些措施包括将总统和议会选举的时间错开在不同的年份和鼓励发展可靠的民意调查或者平行投票。错开的投票时间表能够减轻两次选举带来的紧张。民意调查或者快速计数能提供现实的数据,给竞选运动中的党派狂热降温,也可以减轻公布选举结果的压力。在历史上,这种压力曾是暴力的导火索。

虽然举行没有严重暴力发生的选举是联合国部队离开东帝汶的一个前提条件,但是稳健和平的政治竞争对于国家的长期和平至关重要。这次选举引发了许多东帝汶人对于暴力回归的紧张,而这种紧张可以理解。自2006年以来的许多艰难的改革被推迟了,因为政府担心这些改革可能会对巩固稳定造成威胁。成功的选举应该给予新政府信心来努力推进发展共识和实施改革以加强法治。

帝力/雅加达/布鲁塞尔,2012221

I. Overview

Timor-Leste’s 2012 general elections will provide an important test of the country’s resilience as it celebrates ten years of independence. The governing coalition has undertaken few of the long-term reforms seen as necessary after the 2006 crisis but increased wealth has given many a growing stake in stability. The outcome of polls remains difficult to predict given the breadth of the field in each poll and the weakness of issue-based politics. Successful elections will be important not just toward securing the long-awaited withdrawal of the country’s UN peacekeeping mission but also may give its leaders the confidence to confront its many challenges.

The country is markedly more peaceful than when general elections were last conducted in 2007, but many of the root causes of fragility persist. Relations among the small circle of political leaders are far friendlier, but anger over the past, particularly with regard to the 2006 crisis, remains deeply entrenched. There is a growing number of unemployed youth, particularly in Dili, and gang and martial arts group violence are recurrent problems. No one is sure how closely these issues will feed into political rivalry, but any deliberate manipulation of these frustrations has the potential to be incendiary.

The field will be broad in both polls but once again the real contest is between a handful of familiar players. After a first round of presidential polls on 17 March, two of the following will likely proceed to a second round in April: the incumbent José Ramos-Horta, current parliamentary speaker Fernando “Lasama” de Araújo, his predecessor Fran­ci­sco Guterres “Lu Olo”, or the former armed forces chief, Taur Matan Ruak. Twenty-four parties are poised to compete in parliamentary polls in late June, but only two look capable of winning a majority: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão’s Congresso Nacional de Reconstrução de Timor-Leste (CNRT) and the party that headed the country’s first government, the Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente (Fretilin). A more likely outcome is a coalition government formed by one of these two with a handful of the 22 smaller parties competing. The breadth of this competition, which includes several new parties, makes predicting the parliamentary results difficult.

Political tensions have largely been tempered in the lead up to polls and the security situation remains stable despite a small uptick in violent crime. As campaign season approaches and the political temperature rises, law enforcement capacity remains weak and this means the sources of potential security risks are many. The UN police and the small International Stabilisation Force (ISF) can help buttress crowd control and riot response, but the focus should be on other measures. Civil society groups have a role to play in helping educate voters and monitoring adherence to codes of conduct, as well as shining light on any proxy role in election-related intimidation or violence that martial arts groups could play. Public relations should be a key part of the planned joint operations centre for election security response: rumours have stoked violence and a quick-footed response by police in combating misinformation could help keep the peace. The greatest risk is the near-complete impunity for political violence: the candidates should make it clear now that such crimes will no longer be forgiven.

The UN also has a role to play. National authorities will take responsibility for administering the country’s second major polls since independence, but the UN mission should be ready to take both private and public steps in response to any serious violations of electoral regulations. One product of the UN’s thirteen-year presence in Timor is a strong sense of its mission as a guarantor of free and fair polls even if it plays only a supporting role.

Electoral violence in Timor-Leste’s short history is a symptom of embittered political rivalries that extend back into the resistance struggle and the high stakes of political competition. Relations between the small political elite will heal at their own pace, but several steps could be taken in the medium term to lower existing pressures. These include staggering the calendar for presidential and parliamentary polls in different years and encouraging the development of reliable opinion polling or parallel vote tabulation. A staggered calendar could lower tensions around both elections. Polling or quick counts could provide a reality check to the partisan fervour that characterises campaigning and remove some of the pressure on the announcement of results, historically a trigger of violence.

While polls unmarred by serious violence are a prerequisite for the UN’s departure, robust but peaceful political competition is important to the country’s long-term stability. This election has raised understandable nervousness among many Timorese of the prospects of a return to violence. Many difficult reforms since 2006 have been deferred in the fear that they might jeopardise the consolidation of stability. Successful polls should give the new government the confidence to put more hard work towards developing consensus and enacting reforms to strengthen the rule of law.

Dili/Jakarta/Brussels, 21 February 2012

Commentary / Asia

Has Timor-Leste left behind its violent past?

Timor-Leste seems to have passed the test. With last Saturday’s parliamentary poll, it has now held three elections this year without significant violence. This will allow for the withdrawal of a UN peacekeeping mission whose 1,100-strong police component has long seemed out of synch with local realities. Its violent recent past may increasingly look like history, although the poor country that celebrated only the 10th anniversary of the restoration of its independence in May still faces numerous challenges.

Concerns that the formation of a new coalition government might give rise to violence, as occurred following the 2007 elections, now look misplaced as provisional results show only four parties due to take seats in parliament (official results are due next week). A look at the seat results shows that the CNRT (National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction) has increased its share from 18 to 30 seats, and looks likely to form another government with former coalition partner Partido Democrático (eight seats) and maybe Frenti-Mudança (two seats).This is good for stability in the short term, but it also carries risks. A stronger government composed of fewer parties may be able to pursue clearer legislative objectives, but it will put great pressure on FRETILIN as perhaps the only party in opposition. As a young country only ten years on from independence, Timor-Leste’s parliament continues to consider questions of fundamental importance to the country’s future on which there is much debate, such as how to spend the billions in its Petroleum Fund, or how to structure land administration. Chosen from party lists and not constituencies, giving them little incentive to engage with communities, Timor-Leste’s parliamentarians to date have struggled to provide either an effective check on the executive or a constructive partner by initiating their own legislation. CNRT’s dominance will mean less active scrutiny and will further erode its role as an instrument of accountability.

The elections were not violence-free. There were some minor incidents of stone throwing and a report of three houses being burnt in Viqueque district in the last few days. But even in this volatile part of Timor-Leste, it was much less than the hundreds burnt around the 2007 polls. When we visited the district in May and asked why, the answer from the police, local government, chefes de suco, and civil society workers alike was unanimous – the threats from heads of the police and army had worked. Their blunt warnings that troublemakers would be shot were backed up with high-profile joint patrols and those contemplating violence got the message. It was a victory for “conflict prevention” that raised new questions about how the country will be governed in the future.

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