East Timorese weigh unity as poll count continues – Headline News Right Now
East Timor’s sometimes fractious politicians are discussing the extraordinary possibility of forming a government of national unity, in which all the parliamentary parties would govern together.
The two major parties, Fretilin and CNRT, are being urged to join together by the former president, Jose Ramos Horta, and the influential Catholic Bishop of Dili, Alberto Ricardo, who said yesterday: “(We) must receive and embrace each other”.
“With cooperation and in unity our nation can move forward and look for the progress that we want ? material and spiritual,” Bishop Ricardo said.
However, such an outcome would leave the country without an effective opposition during a time when a number of the government’s policies — particularly the amount being spent from its $ 10.5 billion petroleum fund — are contentious.
The final result of Saturday’s election has not yet been announced by the electoral authority, but discussions are under way between all four parties that won parliamentary seats.
CNRT, the party of current Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, is likely to have won 30 seats, three seats short of the absolute majority he was aiming for. Fretilin has won 24 or 25, the Democratic Party eight and a new party, Frenti-Mudanca two. However a third minor party, Khunto, may cross the minimum threshold of 3 per cent of the vote and also take two seats.
As discussions between the parties continue today, Fretilin’s president Francisco “ Lu Olo” Guterres and its secretary general Mari Alkitiri have both expressed a willingness to join the government.
“Fretilin will indeed (join) this government,” Mr Guterres said.
“CNRT won more, (but) Fretilin will participate in this government.”
Mr Alkatiri, a former Prime Minister, said the result showed Timorese wanted to strengthen national unity.
“Fretilin will participate in the governance from 2012 to 2017 so no need to be upset and concerned at the election result,” Mr Alkatiri said.
Behind the scenes, the former president, Jose Ramos Horta, has been urging the parties to form a “big tent” coalition.
Mr Gusmao has made no public comment yet, except to tell supporters that CNRT has “at least three options”, which includes alliances with all three of the other elected parties.
Shortly after the preliminary results were announced on Sunday afternoon, Democratic Party secretary general Mariano Assanami Sabino and vice president Adriano do Nascimento went to a meeting at CNRT’s headquarters.
Mr Assanami declined to comment publicly on the meeting but CNRT secretary general Deonisio Babo said the Democratic Party leaders were there to congratulate CNRT on its success in Saturday’s election.
Frente Mudanca president Jose Luis Guterres also paid a visit to the CNRT headquarters yesterday at about 6pm local time. Mr Gusmao, CNRT’s president, received him with a smile and the two embraced.
“Your house that run strongest in the election,” Mr Guterres told Mr Gusmao.
Sources said the two party leaders had started negotiation to form the new government.
CNRT secretary general Deonisio Babo said his party had not yet made any decisions about forming government, but would put the interests of the nation above the interests of the party.
“First, (we) must put the state’s interests at the top and the party’s interests in the second place, and (we) must think about what is best for the people,” Mr Babo told journalists at CNRT’s Bairo dos Grilos headquarters yesterday.
“Four parties will enter parliament. We will talk to each other about what is best.”
Dili Bishop Alberto Ricard said East Timor had “many problems and deficiences” including poverty and corruption.
He said the nation’s rulers must distance themselves from the interests of particular parties or groups.
In the 2007 election, Fretilin won 21 seats – three more than CNRT – but Mr Gusmao’s party ended up forming a coalition government.
Of Timor-Leste’s 645,642 registered voters, 482,792 participated in Saturday’s parliamentary election.
Leiharbeit Zeitarbeit Angela Merkel
Collateral Murder (versão integral WikiLeaks)
For its 35th anniversary the San Francisco Decorator Showcase returned to the Classic Revival mansion on 2020 Jackson Street, which had also been the home of the 1991 showcase. The honey-colored brick structure overlooking the Bay was designed in 1902 by German-born architect Julius E. Krafft (1855-1937), and is being offered for $17.5 million (as of June 2012.) Our Claudia Juestel, of Adeeni Design, gives us a tour…
DIFFA’s (Design Industry Foundation Fighting AIDS) Dining by Design returned to the Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center for the 11th year. Once again the most exciting dining environments in town drew support for the Positive Health Program of the UCSF AIDS Research Institute.