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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06DILI429
2006-08-23 09:13:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Dili
Cable title:  

PRESIDENT GUSMAO ASKS ANNAN TO RETAIN SRSG HASEGAWA THROUGH

Tags:   PREL  PHUM  KDEM  UNSC  KPKO  TT  JA 
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TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 2907
INFO RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 2238
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 0658
RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
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RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0511
						
					
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DILI 000429

SIPDIS

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DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MTS, IO
USUN FOR RICHARD MCCURRY
NSC FOR HOLLY MORROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 8/22/2016
TAGS: PREL PHUM KDEM UNSC KPKO TT JA
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT GUSMAO ASKS ANNAN TO RETAIN SRSG HASEGAWA THROUGH
2007 ELECTIONS

REF: (A) DILI 134; (B) STATE 40609

DILI 00000429 001.2 OF 002


CLASSIFIED BY: Grover Joseph Rees, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy
Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)



(1) (C) Summary: In response to reports that senior United
Nations officials may have tentatively decided to replace
Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) Sukehiro
Hasegawa with a new SRSG to lead the impending United Nations
mission in East Timor, President Xanana Gusmao has sent a letter
to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan urging that Hasegawa be
retained. The President's letter says it would be difficult for
a new SRSG to develop the expertise and relationships Hasegawa
has in time to provide effective advice to Timorese institutions
charged with conducting the upcoming national elections.
Gusmao's letter says that Prime Minister Ramos-Horta concurs in
the recommendation to retain Hasegawa. Ensuring free and fair
national elections, in part through a robust and policy-driven
United Nations presence, has been a major preoccupation of both
President Gusmao and Prime Minister Ramos-Horta in recent
months. The Fretilin party, still led by former Prime Minister
Alkatiri, continues to press for an election law that would
seriously disadvantage opposition parties, and Hasegawa ---
unlike some UN officials --- has been perceived as a strong
supporter of the level playing field favored by Gusmao and
Ramos-Horta. End Summary.

(2) (C) Background: Reports circulated in Dili diplomatic
circles last week that highly placed UN officials, possibly but
not necessarily including Secretary General Annan, had
tentatively determined that SRSG Hasegawa should be replaced.
These reports were confirmed by Hasegawa himself, who told
Ambassador that he expected to take a new assignment within the

United Nations system and hinted that this had not been his
preference. The Japanese Ambassador to East Timor, whose
Embassy had previously urged United States support for
Hasegawa's reappointment, also indicated to Ambassador Rees on
August 18 that he thought a decision had been made to replace
Hasegawa.

(3) (U) In response to these reports, President Xanana Gusmao
has sent a letter to SG Annan urging that he retain Hasegawa in
the new mission. The letter focuses on the upcoming national
elections, noting that "these elections need to be held within
several months and it would be difficult for any new
representative to become familiar with various issues and to
advise effectively the government and other state institutions."
It adds that "Mr. Hasegawa has already been providing us with
valuable advice and assistance so effectively that both Prime
Minister Ramos-Horta and I" support retaining Hasegawa until
after the elections are held in mid-2007.

(4) (SBU) Comment: The President's reference to support by
Ramos-Horta for retaining Hasegawa is significant and somewhat
surprising. The Prime Minister told Ambassador in July that he
thought Hasegawa should be replaced by Ian Martin, who had
recently led a high-level mission to East Timor on behalf of the
Secretary General. Assuming the President's assessment of

SIPDIS
Ramos-Horta's current view is accurate, the Prime Minister's
change of position might be explained in part by the intervening
news that Martin is not available for the job, and perhaps also
by the absence of any particularly impressive names among the
rumored possible replacements for Hasegawa. Another important
factor in Gusmao's and Ramos-Horta's thinking may be the
continuing struggle over whether the 2007 elections will be
conducted under laws and systems that are genuinely designed to
ensure freedom and fairness. Gusmao and Ramos-Horta support an
election law (such as the one recently proposed in Parliament by
eight opposition parties) that would require the elections to be
conducted under the authority of an independent national
election commission, would give all parties seats in rough
proportion to the number of votes they receive in the election,
and would not impose significant obstacles to participation by
small parties and/or new parties. The Fretilin bench in
Parliament, which is in the majority, has reintroduced a very
different draft election law that was originally proposed by the
government of former Prime Minister Alkatiri, who is still

DILI 00000429 002.2 OF 002


Secretary General of Fretilin. The Fretilin-proposed law would

SIPDIS
require that the elections be run by the highly partisan
Ministry for State Administration, would use a voting formula
that would give no seats to any party that got less than five
per cent of the votes, would redistribute these seats
overwhelmingly to the largest party, and would impose a host of
other barriers to entry by new parties, to participation by
small parties, and to party-switching by Members of Parliament
dissatisfied with their party leadership. While some UN
officials, primarily from within UNDP, have been willing to
accommodate the Fretilin position on these matters (see Ref A),
Hasegawa --- although himself a veteran former UNDP official ---
has strongly supported the position taken by Gusmao and
Ramos-Horta (and by the United States, see Ref B) that the
elections must be conducted under rules and systems that reflect
a broad national consensus and ensure a level playing field.
End Comment.
REES