9 Jul 2012

East Timor election tipped to improve stability

5:04 pm on 9 July 2012

A New Zealand observer says the result of East Timor's general election on Saturday should improve stability there.

Labour MP Phil Goff, who is one of five New Zealand MPs observing the election, said it was calm and organised, despite concerns it could reignite violence.

He says the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction party looks to have been re-elected to government with two coalition parties.

Mr Goff said he will visit an opposition party stronghold on Tuesday, to try to gauge how the election results are being accepted.

The United Nations will withdraw its remaining peacekeeping personnel from East Timor at the end of the year if the election result is accepted without unrest.

The UN has maintained a presence in East Timor since it gained formal independence from Indonesia a decade ago after a long and bloody battle.