New political coalition nominates Xanana to become prime minister

Xanana Gusmao with the new coalition leaders Xanana Gusmao with the new coalition leaders Photo File Tempo Timor

Tempotimor (Dili) - The new coalition consisting of six political parties wants CNRT-leader Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao to become the new prime minister of Timor-Leste. The coalition submitted a letter to the republic’s president, Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, requesting him to appoint Xanana as prime minister of a new government, which will be the ninth since independence.

"It is also indicated in the letter that we nominated Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao as prime minister for ninth government, if accepted by the president," said Antonio Da Conceicao Kalohan, the secretary general of the Democratic Party, in the presidential palace, Dili (10 March). PD is part of the new six party coalition that also includes CNRT, KHUNTO, PUDD, UDT/FM. 

Last Friday (6 March) the six coalition parties lead by Gusmao met with president Lu Olo who asked them to fulfil the requirements based on the Electoral Law. Then the coalition organised a national congress or conference. According to Kalohan the requirements which were discussed with the president are fulfilled and therefor the letter is submitted.

However, until today, president Lu Olo has not made a decision yet on the dismissal letter which has been submitted by the current prime minister, Taur Matan Ruak. 

Timor-Leste is facing a political crisis since the government’s proposal for the 2020 state budget was voted down by parliament last January. Before the vote the 21 MP’s of CNRT, which is also part of the current government, had received an order from its president Xanana Gusmao to abstain. The CNRT MP’s indeed abstained, with one member voting against the 2020 state budget. 

“On January 17th there was dispatch from our Maun Bo’ot (big Brother) to vote abstained,” said a CNRT member of parliament.

The current government led by prime minister Taur Matan Ruak since June 2018 is a coalition formed by CNRT, PLP and KHUNTO. A high level CNRT member told Tempotimor that in May 2018 it was Mr. Gusmao who forced Taur Matan Ruak to accept the job of prime minister. "Taur was crying and rejected the PM’s job, but Maun Bo'ot has asked him to do it," the CNRT source said. (*)

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