Tempotimor(Dili) – The leader of the new political coalition, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, asked the president of the republic to dismiss the current prime minister, Taur Matan Ruak. The members of his six-party coalition believe that Xanana is entitled to become the prime minister of a new government.
The coalition proposed to the president of the republic, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, to swear inXanana Gusmao immediately after he dismisses Taur Matan Ruak, who is now leading the eighth constitutional government.
“We urged the president to dismiss the prime minister,” Xanana Gusmao said during a press conference at the CNRT headquarter (24 March 2020), where coalition members who were present cheered and applauded after these words.
The political crisis started last January when parliament rejected the state budget proposed by the government. After that the prime minister sent his request to be dismissed to the president, who hasn’t taken a decision yet on this matter. The impasse has aggravated the existing disagreements between Xanana and the president.
Xanana argues that the outgoing prime minister has no authority to propose any law, including the budget law, after he submitted his dismissal letter. While president Lu-Olo, who was presiding the constituent assembly that wrote the constitution in 2002, states that Taur Matan Ruak has full authority as prime minister so far.
Mockingly Xanana stated: “The president is the chief of the state, tasked to represent and ensure the independence of a nation and state unity, and the functioning of the institutions which seem not to be functioning up till now. This shows that, when they wrote the constitution, he might have missed it.” (***)