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Major General Lere Anan Timur Major General Lere Anan Timur

Leadership Incapacity to Blame for Election Violence, Says Lere Featured

DILI: The head of Timor-Leste’s defense force has condemned the capacity of nation’s leaders, saying their failure to control growing conflict between political party supporters is fueling electoral tension and nation-wide instability.

With the eight person presidential campaign in full swing from 3-17 March, pockets of violence has broken out between rival supporters of FRETILIN candidate Francisco Guterres ‘ Lu Olo and Democratic Party candidate, António da Conceição ‘Kalohan.’

 “If there is always going to have conflict happen like this then we must say that our political leaders have no capacity,” Major General Lere Anan Timur said on Monday.

The veteran defence chief said blaming the older generation or new generation for the unrest was counter productive, saying leaders needed to stamp out the rivalry.

The comments came after 36 houses were destroyed and two people were left injured after the rival supporters allegedly went on a rampage in RaiKotu, Tera Santa on the opening day of the presidential election campaign.

Esperança de Jesus, the head of sub village Terra Santa told Independente on Saturday that militants from Lu-Olowere to blame for the damage.

“We are sad these militants have such an attitude to us,’’ Jesus said.

Jesus called on Lu-Olo to take responsibility for his supporter’s behavior.

An investigation into the violence is ongoing. 

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