Out on a limb (or branch)

Looking at Timorsunshine/Tumbleweed’s generous scan of results in Timor Post, I want to make some bold suggestions, à la American punditry. I hope I’m way off the mark, for more excitement.

The districts which remain to be counted are, by order of population:

Baucau (60,000+ eligible voters, 30% in)
Ermera (54,000+, 28% in)
Bobanaro (47,000+, 35% in)
Viqueque (39,000+, 25% in)
Manufahi (23,000+, 59% in)

Because we don’t have a subdistrict breakdown, I cannot be certain of these predictions.

But I imagine the more remote subdistricts have yet to be counted.

In Baucau, there will be absenteeism and probably a similar (60/40%) breakdown between Lu Olo and RH.

In Ermera, Xavier will poll extremely well, possibly overtaking Lasama? But Lasama will be hugely successful in Bobanaro, which has a similar number of votes to be counted. It’s hard to say which district will have a higher rate of absenteeism.

Viqueque will probably steer more heavily towards Lu Olo, as in the “urban” areas RH has support and in some of the less populated eastern reaches. Tilman is polling surprisingly poorly there, considering his connection to the “royals” of Luca.

Xavier could take Manufahi, and will maintain his strong position in relation to Lu Olo.

Unless Lu Olo really dominates rural Baucau, it seems he stands to lose a couple of points to Xavier and Lasama in the national numbers. I’m unsure of how RH will fare, but I have a hard time believing he will gain ground on Lu Olo.

The electorate is really divided! This also makes me wonder if people in rural areas are “voting their conscience” or if voting decisions are made in a rather collective “top-down” way as in 2001. See Hohe’s article on the Constituent Assembly elections for more on this.

The mountain power that I was invoking a couple of weeks ago has yet to have been tallied. Traube showed in Mambai culture, the symbols tree trunk (ritual power) and the flag pole (representing political power) are still extremely weighty, and interrelated. Fretilin calls this kind of political thought feudalism or obscuranturismu. Let’s see how the mountain electorate goes, how will the mixture of “tradition,” resistance-party potency, and conscience play out?

(I could hardly believe that AP was reporting that there would be a three-way run-off between Lu Olo, RH, and Lasama. I come from the land of Red and Blue states, uhhh, but isn’t this an absurd proposition? Only two, please.)

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One thought on “Out on a limb (or branch)

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » East Timor: Predicting Remaining Votes

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