27 August 2018

RDDU: The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) urges political leaders to promote dialogue or go through the courts to end the current political impasse

Rede Defensór Direitus Umanus (RDDU) Address: Faról, Dili Karaketu, Timor-Leste Phone: (+670) 77139641 / 77259858 Press Release Dili, 14 August 2018

 The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) urges political leaders to promote dialogue or go through the courts to end the current political impasse

The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) is comprised of civil society organizations that deal with Human Rights. This network exists to carry out monitoring and advocacy in cases of human right violations occurring in Timor-Leste.

The Human Rights Defenders Network (RDDU) has been evaluating and carefully following the political situation evolving in Timor-Leste and consider it to be a risk that could lead to instability, especially economic, social, political and security related instability, which is an integral part of human rights that could potentially affect the day to day lives of the people if no solution is found to the current political impasse.

Therefore, the Human Rights Defenders Network urges national leaders and political party leaders to promote dialogue and to engage in intensive political communication by talking to each other and avoiding political disagreements, hatred and revenge, which will not help the people, so as to immediately end the political impasse that remains unresolved to date.

The Human Rights Defenders Network urges the sovereign organs to carry out their respective roles in accordance with the principle of separation of powers as set out in Article 69 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.



This political impasse is a national issue that can impede the functioning of all State machinery, can undermine the national development process and the people's participation in the economy at the grass roots level because there is no State Budget which needs to be allocated to sustain the work of the State authorities to respond to the needs of the people and the nation.

In relation to the current political situation, the Human Rights Defenders Network - RDDU recommends the following:

1. For the President of the Republic, His Excellency Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo”, as the Head of State, symbol and guarantor of national independence and the State and of the smooth functioning of democratic institutions, to seek a proper solution through dialogue to end the current political impasse so as to not place the people and State interests at risk;

2. The VIII Constitutional Government, led by the Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, should seek a solution through intensive dialogue and communication with the President of the Republic, to end this political impasse;

3. The RDDU urges the Alliance of Change for Progress (AMP) and the Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak to seek a legal and legitimate approach through the Supreme Court of Justice to decide on the “issue of competency” regarding the appointment of members of government which is an issue that is still full of uncertainty.  If the Supreme Court of Justice decides that the President has the competency to reject the candidates nominated as members of government, the Prime Minister should replace the list of candidates that is pending with a new list of candidates for members of government. However, if the Supreme Court of Justice decides that the rejection of the aforementioned candidates as members of government is not part of the President's competency, then the President is constitutionally obliged to swear in these members of government;

4. The RDDU also urges the Supreme Court of Justice to use its constitutional competency to assess and find a solution to end the debate, rule on the issue of competency and avoid any decisions that just try to 'play it safe' or a decision to just 'reject it', or just send it back to the politicians to resolve. In a democratic country based on the rule of law when politicians don't have the political means to solve a political issue and conflicting interpretations regarding a national issue between the sovereign organs, the court is the final option and recourse to end such arguments.

 Members of the RDDU:

1.        Hak Association

2.        ALFeLa

3.        AJAR

4.        Acbit

5.        Codiva

6.        Mahein Foundation

7.        AHMDTL (Asosiasaun Halibur Matan Defisiénsia Timor-Leste)

8.        Belun

9.        JSMP

10.    CBRN-TL

Dili, 14 August 2018
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