16 October 2010

Alkatiri resigned to prevent civil war in 2006

Interview with Mari Alkatiri - Secretary General of Fretlin - 31st October, 2006 - Good afternoon Dr. Alkatiri, thank you for agreeing to meet with me. First can I say how sorry I was that you were forced into resignation.

Thank you.

Q. I wonder do you think the constitution has been damaged irreparably by the forced resignation?

A. I have no doubt that it was not constitutional, fully aware that all accusations against me were false, to force the government to step down to force a government of national unity, I felt it was better to resign. I felt that we would experience bloodshed. I thought it would have a deeper crisis. I could not govern if there was bloodshed, if many people were killed.

It was a very bad precedent.

It now depends on the leadership to recognise their mistakes, including me. I was the biggest victim of the situation. It was a coup for no reason.

It is now a crisis of civil leadership, of state authority.

Q. I guess you are saying that you thought there could be a civil war?

A. Yes - I resigned to avoid a vacuum.

Read the full interview on East Timor Legal Information Site archive

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