03 August 2018

Constitution of East Timor: President's Role in Civil Governance by Elected Legislature and Government

PM TMR Assumed Office 22 June 2018
Entitled to Govern
In my ongoing consideration of the Constitutional powers of the President of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, it has been put that, apart from the specific constitutional provisions the subject of earlier analysis, is there any other general provisions of the Constitution that would invalidate my arguments.

The fist observation to recall here is that, on the ordinary principles of construction and interpretation of the meaning of texts, particularly legal texts, the specific overrides the general.

Even if there were some general power to justify the President's refusal to appoint the Ministers of State nominated by the Prime Minister, or some other discretionary power vested in the office of President to justify the implicit assertion in his actions that he is entitled to exercise discretion on this critical point, the provisions of Article 106(2) are the only words that matter.

The proposition is that in refusing to appoint the ministers of state nominated by the Prime Minister, the President has acted in violation of Article 106(2). Such conduct is therefore unconstitutional.

I have articulated the argument previously: On the President's Constitutional Powers on Nominations by Prime Minister of Ministers of State

From the broader theoretical perspective, from the perspective of the separation of state power and the interrelationship between the sovereign organs, that proposition is further elucidated by the following.

The Prime Minister can guarantee control of the National Parliament with a substantial majority the result of the 2018 elections; the will of the people clearly expressed in free and fair elections whose results have been validated by the Court of Appeal.

Unlike the previous minority government, the Prime Minister and his Ministers are entitled to construct the governance regime unhindered by having Ministers installed into office. Certainly, the former Prime Minister encountered no difficulties appointing his Ministry.

The new Prime Minister's party in the Legislature have an overwhelming and unquestionable right to create law in the name of the people.

It is not the role nor the right of the President to govern or interfere with the democratic process of governance following legislature domination by democratic process of election.

The Constitution confers no powers on the Presidenet to obstruct democracy.

Warren L. Wright

Note: Incomplete Draft




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