02 May 2012

Concern East Timor MPs are boycotting votes on legislation



Connect Asia speaks to East Timor National Unity Party, MP Fernanda Borges

Created: Tue, 01 May 2012 08:52:51 GMT-0400

Last Updated: 23 hours 3 minutes ago

An East Timor MP says whips should be introduced to the nation's parliament to help ensure that parliamentary members turn up when crucial votes on proposed legislation are scheduled.

Fernanda Borges, an M-P for the National Unity Party says due to the lack of a quorum, a proposed new electoral law on Friday could not be passed.

She says members of the C-N-R-T party failed to turn up to parliament to vote on the legislation.

Ms Borges has told Connect Asia if the bill isn't passed it will mean that people will have to return to their home villages to vote in the general elections, in July as was the case in the recent Presidential elections.

She says the C-N-R-T intentionally boycotted this vote.

"The participation rate was quite a lot lower than the Presidential election, so there needs to be a change in the electoral law to enable the people to vote anywhere in the country as was the case in 2007," she said.

"So we are very much in need of the reform.

"But C-N-R-T it is not in their interest obviously here so they have decided to boycott the change of this law."

It is not the first time the passing of legislation has been stalled since the vote on the reparations law for victims of East Timor's independence struggle was put off again after MPs stayed away.

In March, the parliament also didn't have the numbers to vote on the suspension of Justice Minister, Lucia Lobato, who was facing corruption charges.

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