11 November 2017

Timorese Catholic leader calls for "common sense" for politicians and debates on substantive issues

The Catholic Church in East Timor. Dili Cathedral.
!WARNING! MACHINE TRANSLATION ORIGINAL PORTUGUESE TEXT  November 10, 2017, 19:35 Timorese Catholic leader calls for "common sense" for politicians and debates on substantive issues

"On the economic impact that the political tension is having in the country, the bishop said that for now there is no cause for concern in spite of "speculators" who begin to move the prices of some essential goods."

The president of the Timorese Episcopal Conference appealed today to the common sense of the leaders of the country and said he expects a political debate on the government's program that focuses more on substantive issues than "side issues."

"I would like there to be an opposition because we still lack a certain culture of understanding that the opposition has as much force and as much value as a Government." The stronger and better the opposition, the better the government practice, "said Basílio do Nascimento.

"What should guide the role of one and the other is the content of the programs and what really interests the life of the nation.The Government presents and the opposition agrees or disagrees but the discussions are on the heart of the issue, more than discussing side issues. Throughout this discussion it seemed to me that there were more discussions on side matters than on fundamental issues, "said the bishop who is also in charge of the diocese of Baucau.

Basílio do Nascimento, president of the East Timorese Episcopal Conference (CEP), spoke to journalists after leading a delegation of the three Timorese bishops who met with President Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo at the Presidential Palace in Dili.


Also taking part in the meeting were the bishops Virgilio do Carmo da Silva (Díli) and Norberto do Amaral (Maliana).

Asked by Lusa about whether it is still possible for the current government to fulfill its mandate or if the country is headed for early elections, the prelate said he hoped that "common sense would prevail."

"In Timor there are two things: good sense and rationality. Rationality does not always work, but good sense often obeys what rationality prevents," he said.

"There are things that are necessarily seen by logic and others by common sense. I hope that common sense prevails and if common sense does not prevail there are mechanisms provided in the constitution for things to work," he said.

On the economic impact that the political tension is having in the country, the bishop said that for now there is no cause for concern in spite of "speculators" who begin to move the prices of some essential goods.

"I think this is part of these situations in which many take advantage of non-defined situations to overvalue their interests," he said.

"Situations of these five or 10 years ago have created a panic, but now hearing people in markets, on the streets, simple people speak with better common sense than some responsible ones," he said. considered.

Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo told reporters that the meeting with the three bishops, announced last Sunday, aimed to analyze the political situation in Timor-Leste.

"I had this meeting with the three bishops of the three dioceses so that we can analyze the current political situation a little more and find the best way to overcome the situation among them." I listened very carefully to the opinions that the three bishops left, "he explained. the head of state.

It is recalled that the head of state had already announced a meeting on November 15 with the leaders of the three largest Timorese parties, namely Mari Alkatiri, Secretary General of the Independent Revolutionary Front of Timor-Leste (Fretilin), Xanana Gusmão National Reconstruction of Timor-Leste (CNRT) and Taur Matan Ruak president of the People's Liberation Party (PLP).

The minority government, backed by Fretilin's 23 MPs plus seven Democratic Party (DP), faced a motion to reject its program approved last month by the opposition bloc, which includes CNRT, PLP and Kmanek Haburas National Unity Timor Oan (KHUNTO).

The executive is preparing a new government program to be presented by the end of the year, having delivered to the National Parliament on Thursday the Budget for 2017.

The opposition has already contested either the government's decision to present the budget - arguing that there is sufficient money in the public accounts by the end of the year - or that it presents it before re-introducing the new program to deputies.

If the Government's program is retaken, the executive falls and the President of the Republic has to decide whether to opt for another government solution within the current parliamentary scenario or to call for new elections.

After the election, the CNRT, which was the second-most voted party, announced that it intended to be opposition, but now it has approved formal talks to form a Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) that wants to be an alternative to the Fretilin government.

Lusa
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