01 May 2012

Discussion of Amendment to Election Law: “CNRT Abandons Parliament”

Journal Timor Post Saturday, 28 April 2012 - On Friday (27/04) the People’s representative in the National Parliament could not yet make a final decision on the electoral law article 40 for lack of quorum. A majority of Deputies from the CNRT bench did not attend parliament, so the discussion was postponed to Monday (30/04).

CNRT Deputy and Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, said that the law does not need to be changed but only to create a mechanism how to facilitate people to vote because if the law is changed, it could hurt the work of the electoral administration bodies.

“What we want is for all citizens to be able to participate to the maximum in the elections. For this reason I think better not to change the law but to open many more voting centers and open every day the process to update the voter registration so people can change their electoral card to the place where they are staying,” Guterres explained.

On this issue, Adriano do Nascimento from the Democratic Party bench (PD) pointed out that more than a thousand voters did not participate in the elections but CNRT doesn’t care about this and is more concerned about the issue of time. “CNRT doesn’t care about this, but we want all the people to participate in this election,” he said.

In addition, the FRETILIN Deputy, Domingos Sarmento, stated so few CNRT Deputies at parliament shows a lack of responsibility for the State.

“There is no sense of responsibility to the State, perhaps because something is not correct, we need to sit together and talk about this, you cannot do something like this just because you happen to be in government,” Sarmento questioned.

Also, Deputy Cornelio Gama “L-7” from UNDERTIM bench as one of the proponents of the proposed amendment stated that the Deputies who did not attend the discussion are violating the internal rules of the parliament.

“How can we take any decision and to function as a competent body if the majority of deputies do not come to work?” he questioned.

Meanwhile the President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama de Araujo, stated that the fact that the majority of deputies did not attend means that the majority do not want to change the law and this is perhaps a political decision of theirs.

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