28 October 2018

East Timor: The Resignation of the President

"Fortunately, the Constitution makes provision for the voluntary resignation of the President."

The contortions, perversions and dystopic situation of the government continues, caused by a President who, by grave error of judgment, wrongfully and unconstitutionally denies the government functionality.

Oftentimes, the solution of a complex problem is achieved through a simple process.

Considering that the President obstinately refuses the formal appointment of no less than nine Ministerial candidates nominated by the Prime Minister and further recalling my earlier observations about the unconstitutionality of the President's conduct, let us look at some other provisions of the Constitution that might become relevant or at least should be considered by everyone, but especially the His Excellency himself.

Since he finds himself at such a level of incompatibility with the democratically elected Parliament and Government, unable to discharge his constitutional responsibilities, has compromised stable governance at the expense of the people who expect their Prime Minister and his Ministers to rule, but, ultimately, unable to transcend the political ideology that is causing his problematical behaviour, has demonstrated incompetence to function as a constitutionally-compliant President, then one option is for him to resign from office.

Fortunately, the Constitution makes provision for the voluntary resignation of the President.

Article 81 (Resignation of Office) 
1. The President of the Republic may resign from office by message addressed to the National Parliament. 
2. Resignation shall take effect once the message is made known to the National Parliament without prejudice to its subsequent publication in the official gazette. 
3. Where the President of the Republic resigns from office, he or she shall not be eligible to stand for presidential elections immediately after resignation nor in the regular elections to be held after five years.

In the case of resignation, the Constitution further provides for the presidential functions to be vested in the Speaker of the National Parliament:

Article 82
(Death, resignation or permanent disability)
1. In case of death, resignation or permanent disability of the President of the Republic, his or her functions shall be taken over on an interim basis by the Speaker of the National Parliament, who shall be sworn in by the Speaker a.i. of the National Parliament before the Members of the National Parliament and representatives of the organs of sovereignty. 

The Government is entitled to govern. Those who resist this democratic governance are at such odds with the central ideas of democracy that the only option is to resign.

This would then enable the Parliament to resolve the gaps in the Government.

It makes neither common sense nor does it constitute good democratic jurisprudence that a Government that has a majority in the Parliament is thwarted from governing by the President acting far beyond his constitutional legitimacy.

Warren L. Wright BA LLB

Artigo 81.º
(Renúncia ao mandato)
1. O Presidente da República pode renunciar ao mandato em mensagem dirigida ao Parlamento Nacional.
2. A renúncia torna-se efectiva com o conhecimento da mensagem pelo Parlamento Nacional, sem prejuízo da sua ulterior publicação em jornal oficial.
3. Se o Presidente da República renunciar ao cargo, não poderá candidatar-se nas eleições imediatas nem nas que se realizem no quinquénio imediatamente subsequente à renúncia

Artigo 82.º
(Morte, renúncia ou incapacidade permanente)
1. Em caso de morte, renúncia ou incapacidade permanente do Presidente da República, as suas funções são interinamente assumidas pelo Presidente do Parlamento Nacional, que toma posse perante os Deputados e os representantes dos outros órgãos de soberania e é investido pelo Presidente do Parlamento Nacional em exercício.  

See also

East Timor President has no constitutional role in State Governance

ROCCIPI elucidates unconstitutional behaviour by President Lu-Olo

East Timor Constitution on Criminal liability of the members of Government

2018 Election: Fretilin falls, again; Xanana resurrects

East Timor President Lu-Olo Discredits Office of President & Perverts the Will of the People

On the President's Constitutional Powers on Nominations by Prime Minister of Ministers of State

A note on "unconstructive and irresponsible commentary" on the Constitution of East Timor

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

East Timor: Whither Democracy?

East Timor: Democracy in Ruin by Presidential Unconstitutionality

East Timor Constitution on the Dismissal of the President
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