29 October 2018

East Timor National Parliament denies President permission to leave the country

Independente, October 25, 2018 language source: Tetun

President of the Republic Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo accepted and respected National Parliament (PN)’s decision of cancelling his planned overseas visit to participate in International Democracy Forum in Bali of Indonesia, but he also hinted at interdependence of powers between state bodies.

The visit’s rejection, which received 31 votes to 19 on Tuesday, followed parliament denying the President’s attendance at the UN General Assembly in New York last month and also a state visit to Portugal in July.

Addressing media at Presidential Palace on Wednesday, President Lu-Olo said it was under parliament’s competence whether to authorise his foreign visit or not, but he also called on parliament to be ready and accept his decision when it was time for President of the Republic to exercise his competences. “It is their competence whether to authorise or not, but President of the Republic also has competences and other state bodies should not interfere,” he warned.

Responding to parliament’s call for prioritising domestic issues over international affairs, President Lu-Olo reminded parliament of one of the roles of President of the Republic was to strengthen bilateral ties with foreign countries.

“The pending nominations is our internal problem (…) we should not use it as a political payback to President of the Republic which in process strains our relations with other countries,” Lu-Olo said.

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