25 October 2017

CNRT, PLP & KHUNTO form Parliamentary Majority Alliance

Xanana Gusmao, CNRT Leader forms Parliamentary Majority Alliance with PLP and KHUNTO
Xanana Gusmao, CNRT Leader
ETLJB 24 Oct 2017 Lusa has reported that Xanana Gusmao's CNRT, former President and East Timor Defence Force Commander, Taur Matan Ruak's PLP (Peoples' Liberation Party) and KHUNTO have formed a Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP).

The CNRT Media Facebook page post confirms this. 


If that is so, then it raises additional complexities in the interpretation and application of the Constitution. Now an alliance comprised of CNRT (22 Deputies)PLP (8 Deputies) and KHUNTO (5 Deputies) being 35 seats in the National Parliament, has a clear majority compared to the Fretilin-PD alliance of Fretilin (23 Deputies) and PD (7 Deputies) being a total of only 30 of the 65 seats.


It seems that the differences between CNRT, PLP and KHUNTO have now been put aside and they are unified in the face of the Fretilin-PD government's existence. It is unfortunate that they did not do so before the minority government was appointed.


The Parliamentary Majority Alliance may now control the Parliament, the legislative process, and the consideration of the Government's Program again, the rejection of which would trigger a transitional constitutional process. Unless Alkatiri can do some quick footwork, it seems that his government's program will be rejected again.


Prima facie, AMP now fulfills the requirements of Article 106 of the Constitution and may have a better claim on the State apparatus. 


On that basis, could the AMP approach the President and request that he appoint the AMP as the Government? The first hurdle to this is that there is already an incumbent minority Government sworn in that has already had its policy and legislative program rejected by the Parliament. 


If it is rejected again, there appear to be two options. First, call an election or, secondly, appoint a new government without the need for an election now that there is an AMP with majority rule in the Parliament. 


In either case, the existing Government would have to be decommissioned. How this process develops will be worth observing. 


WLW
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