19 November 2017

Nine political parties form a coalition with an eye on future elections in Timor-Leste

18/11/2017 !WARNING! MACHINE TRANSLATION ORIGINAL PORTUGUESE TEXT NOTICIAS NOTISIAS BERITA NEWS EAST TIMOR LESTE Ponto Final The National Democratic Forum brings together nine political formations that together obtained more than 60,000 votes in the last legislative elections.

The announcement of the formation of the new coalition comes at a time when Timor-Leste is facing a political crisis after the opposition took down the government program led by Mari Alkatiri.

Nine smaller Timor-Leste parties that won more than 60,000 votes in the July 22 election formed yesterday in a bloc that wants to be a voice at the current political moment and that could stand for future elections.

The National Democratic Forum (NDF) brings together representatives of the Democratic Party of Development and Democratic Party (PUDD), Timorese Democratic Union (UDT), Front of Change (FM), Popular Unity Block (BUP), Partido Socialista de Timor Social Democratic Party (PSD), Republican Party (PR), National Development Party (PDN) and the Christian Democratic Party (PDC).

The National Democratic Forum is born at a moment of political impasse in Timor-Leste, after the majority opposition has defeated the Government's program, and a possible second lead implies the fall of the Executive.

If that happens the head of state will have to choose between finding a solution to the current parliamentary scenario or moving to early elections.

At a joint press conference the leaders of the nine parties read a statement calling on the head of state, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo, to make every effort to "find a governance solution."

This solution, they argue, must respect the Constitution and "will contribute to ensuring the functioning of a stable Government that will ensure the socio-economic development of the country, putting all political forces on an equal footing."

The text also calls for the highest respect of all by the head of state whom they ask "to ensure the neutrality and non-partisanship of the Timor-Leste Defense Forces (F-FDTL) in the current impasse of governance."

According to the bloc's officials, the aim is for each party to make known to its militants and supporters the new forum being that, as explained yesterday in a press conference, most defend that the National Democratic Forum is presented as a pre-electoral coalition .

Of the group are the 6th, 7th and 8th most voted parties, and in all, the nine political forces obtained 60,130, which would put them if this coalition existed - as a third political force, in front of the The Popular Liberation Party (PLP) that managed to elect eight deputies with 60,098 votes.

José Luis Guterres, leader of the Frente Mudanca (FM) and former foreign minister, said at the joint press conference that the parties feel "accountable to the electorate who voted" and maintain "deep respect, admiration and love for the people of Timor-Leste ".

Without declaring preference for one of the scenarios for solving the political crisis, José Luis Guterres said that the FDN could present itself to possible early elections.

João Gonçalves, from the PSD, said that questions such as the cost of elections, the ability of a management government to approve an electoral budget, and "to question whether this is in the national interest or the people's interest" should be questioned: "Will this economic stability for the country? We have to question that. These are issues that the President will have to take into account, knowing that there are other constitutional solutions that can also be adopted, "he said.

"We ask that any decision that is taken is constitutional and goes against the national interest and the people," he said.

This position was echoed by Leandro Isaac (UDT), who said that the parties registered "the concern of their electorate" and that it was the defense of the national interest that motivated "this public position."

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