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20 May 2020

East Timor: fight over speaker's job descends into brawl over his chair

Dili City of Peace as Parliament descends into chaos.
Dili - City of Peace
"It is not the first time the political class in Dili has resorted to scuffles, but "this one is different in a sense that it's become so disruptive and so rowdy...."

East-Timor's Prime Minister has asked the Timorese people to "maintain calm" and allow the country's leaders to restore order, after Parliament devolved into pushing and shoving for a second consecutive day.

Jose Maria Vasconcellos, also known as Taur Matan Ruak, issued a statement saying people should go about their normal lives and let the leaders solve their problems.

In raucous scenes on Tuesday, the house's presiding table was literally overturned and MPs began banging on furniture to stop the day's session from going ahead. The presiding table is used by the National Parliament's president - equivalent to Australia's speaker of the house - and two vice-presidents, and represents the highest echelons of the government apart from the President and Prime Minister.

Read the full story at Sydney Morning Herald.

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