|Motael Church, Dili|
Whatever the arguments for the proposition that a political party may govern even where it does not control the Legislature, it is offensive to the doctrines of majority rule and will not endure; or will endure only so long as the majority opposition permits it to.
A disgraceful Press Release dated 10 November 2017, along with an expensive video of the meeting issued by the Presidential Palace posted on the President's Facebook page that reeked of propaganda, notes that the meeting with the 3 bishops of the roman catholic church in East Timor was convened by the President to, no less, than to hear the opinion of the bishops on the country's current political situation. The legitimacy-seeking headline of the press release is:
'BISHOPS OF TIMOR-LESTE PRAISE THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC FOR HIS DECISION ON THE FORMATION OF THE 7TH CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT"
Why the President chose to meet only with the representative of the catholic religion and no others is a point that should not go unnoticed.
It then reiterates (and impliedly attaches blame to) that all political parties had expressed their will to contribute to peace and stability, and "all opposition parties in particular - CNRT, PLP and KHUNTO - promised to play the role of a constructive opposition."
"In the meeting, the three bishops praised the President of the Republic for his courage in decision-making and expressed confidence in his capacity to manage the situation according to his constitutional duties."
Two of the priests apparently "called on the President of the Republic to continue acting according to the Constitution and making decisions based on good judgement." Again we have a legitimacy-seeking intervention from the President with the thinly veiled implication that the church agrees with the constitutionality of the President's actions.
It might also be considered as an attempt to invoke divine approval of the government and the President. Utter nonsense.
Apart from appearing as self-serving mischievous propaganda for the Fretilin minority government effected by the President, religious delusions and supernatural elucidations of reality have no legitimate role in secular politics.
The bishops should have declined the invitation but how could they resist an opportunity to reinforce the church's political agenda in East Timor? WLW