09 October 2016

Government defends the 2016 General State Budget which is again unanimously approved by National Parliament

ETLJB 9 October 2016  Source: Government of East Timor Dili, January 8, 2016 - Today the Sixth Constitutional Government, led by Prime Minister H.E. Dr Rui Maria de Araújo, defended the 2016 General State Budget in National Parliament. Then, for a second time, the Members wholeheartedly confirmed their approval of the 2016 Budget legislation. The President of National Parliament, H.E. Dr. Vicente Guterres will now return the law, unchanged, to the President of the Republic H.E. Taur Matan Ruak for his assent.

According to Section 88 [2] of the Constitution "If, within ninety days, the National Parliament confirms its vote by an absolute majority of its Members in full exercise of their functions, the President of the Republic shall promulgate the statue within eight days after receiving it."

After a long and rigorous budget process that took place throughout 2015, the National Parliament voted unanimously to approve the 2016 General State Budget legislation on the 18th of December 2015. The law then proceeded to the President of the Republic for promulgation. Subsequently the President exercised his rights under the Constitution to veto the law and sent a message to the National Parliament requesting a new appraisal of the statue. The President requested consideration of budget increases in some areas and reduction in others. He also expressed his concern for budget sustainability.

The Parliament was obliged by the Constitution to call for a one-day debate on these matters and to either change the law accordingly or confirm the vote. Today they unanimously confirmed their vote.
The Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira, reflecting upon the statements made by many Members of Parliament today, stressed "the invaluable lessons of democracy and a profound respect for the pillars of sovereignty of Timor-Leste were demonstrated during today's debate.

The fact the Parliament chose to confirm the 18th of December vote, without making changes to the budget law to accommodate the requests of the President, and decided to return the same legislation to the President for assent, testifies to the integrity of the budget planning and approval process. Under the Constitution, the Government and the Parliament are the pillars of sovereignty responsible for the General State Budget planning, debate and approval, before sending to the President for promulgation."ENDS
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