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18 November 2008

East Timor Government holds Consultations on Three Draft Local Governance Laws

REPUBLICA DEMOCRATICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
Ministry of State Administration and Territorial Management

PRESS RELEASE Dili 18 November 2008

Government holds Consultations on Three Draft Local Governance Laws

The Government wants encourage involvement, participation, and include ideas from the people in local government reforms through public consultation. The National Director for Local Development and Territorial Management (DNDLOT) Mr. Miguel P. de Carvalho, together with a technical team, have been traveling through all districts holding consultations about three draft laws on local governance: the draft law on local government , the draft law on administrative and territorial divisions and a draft law on municipal elections. Consultations present the draft laws to the public and solicit opinions from local authorities, community leaders, civil society and also the local communities.

The DNDLOT Director explained the importance of these consultations. “The Government is holding consultations to involve all people in the process, and to gather thoughts, suggestions, commentary, as well as worries and doubts from the people so that we can improve these three draft laws before National Parliament approves them,” said the Director after the consultation held in Manatuto district on 11 November 2008.

During the consultation which was held in the Liquiçá District on the 14th of November 2008, Mr. Domingos dos Santos, a youth from Liquiçá, talked about his ideas on the importance of these consultations. “This consultation process is important for the people to be able to give their thoughts and suggestions about what should be included in these laws, because in the future these laws will regulate the formation of Municipalities. It won’t be good if we only say something is wrong with the laws after they have already been approved; this would be too late. We want laws that will be able to guarantee that the Municipalities will function well, so that we can better development,” said Mr. Domingos after the consultation in Liquiçá. He also asked the government to include intellectuals and have them give their thoughts on the proposed laws.

“We are very pleased with these three draft laws, even though there are still some things which are not included entirely. It is excellent, however, that we can move forward on the road to decentralization. The things that are missing, we can fix. The most important thing is that we need to start the establishment of the Municipalities based on these draft laws, and when we have already started we will review them. If not, we will never go forward,” said Mr. Rui Gomes, the Sub-District Administrator of Natarbora, at the end of the consultation in Manatuto.

These three laws on local governance will become the legal basis for decentralization, which will bring the work of the government closer to the people and strengthen local communities to respond to their development needs at the local level.

ENDS.

For more information please contact Mr. Joao Santos at 729 4824 and Ms. Sally Torbert at 731 4930.

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