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East Timor governor elected for second term

Reuters - September 4, 1997

Jakarta – East Timor governor Abilio Soares, who once escaped an assassination attempt by suspected rebels in the troubled former Portuguese colony, was re-elected to office on Thursday, a local legislator said.

"He was re-elected today by the (local) legislative council. Ninety percent of the votes were for Abilio," Forentino Sarmento, a legislator from the ruling Golkar party, told Reuterss by telephone from the territory's capital Dili.

He said the council, comprising legislators from Golkar, the United Development Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party, met on Thursday to elect a governor for a five-year term.

"Soares has been working hard to develop East Timor, even though in the first two years there was a boycott of his political and development programmes," Sarmento said.

Soares, whose re-election will need final approval from President Suharto, was challenged by two candidates.

The governor escaped an assassination attempt in 1995 when up to 15 shots were fired at a group of motorcyclists he was with during a rally in East Timor.

Indonesia still faces small bands of guerrillas who oppose its rule in the territory, which it invaded in 1975 and annexed the following year in a move not recognised by the United Nations.