JSMP Press Release 12 May 2020 - On 5 May 2020 18 members from the CNRT Bench (National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction) through their lawyers officially submitted a petition to the Court of Appeal which is also functioning as the Supreme Court of Justice.
The aim of this process was to request a review of actions carried out by the President of the Republic which they consider to have violated constitutional obligations relating to the issue of the dismissal of the Prime Minister, the appointment of members of Government and the State Budget not being passed in the National Parliament for more than 60 days whereby the President of the Republic did not dissolve the National Parliament. These issues form the basis for the petition of the CNRT Party.
"JSMP really appreciates the actions of the CNRT members of parliament to use the courts as the appropriate channel in accordance with the law to end this political impasse. However, JSMP requests for the parties to comply with the decision of the Court of Appeal and to follow the appropriate mechanism provided in Article 79 2) & 3) of the Timor-Leste Constitution," said Ms. Ana Paula Marçal, the Executive Director of JSMP.
“It is the incumbent upon the National Parliament to initiate the criminal proceedings, following a proposal made by one-fifth, and deliberation approved by a two-third majority, of its Members (Article 79.3) if the President of the Republic commits a clear and serious violation of his or her constitutional obligations, as provided for in Article 79.2.
JSMP encourages the courts to continue fulfilling their constitutional, impartial and accountable responsibilities to ensure the credibility of this institution and to gain public confidence as a sovereign organ that has the competence to administer justice on behalf of the people, and everyone has to comply with the decisions of the courts.
The actions taken by the CNRT Bench provide a good example that other parties can follow in the future when similar problems occur, as it is important to use appropriate and correct mechanisms. Apart from the processes relating to the competence of sovereign organs to submit a petition, JSMP also encourages the public to use petitions as provided for in Article 48 of the Timor-Leste Constitution on the right to submit a petition to organs of sovereignty or any authority when a problem occurs in relation to the violation of rights, the Constitution , the law or general interests. END