East Timor president calls new elections to break deadlock

East Timor's President Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres delivers his speech in Dili, East Timor, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. East Timor will hold new elections after the minority government formed last year was unable to get its policy program and budget through parliament, the country's president said Friday. (AP Photo/Kandhi Barnez)
East Timor's President Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres delivers his speech in Dili, East Timor, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018. East Timor will hold new elections after the minority government formed last year was unable to get its policy program and budget through parliament, the country's president said Friday. (AP Photo/Kandhi Barnez)

DILI, East Timor — East Timor will hold new elections after the minority government formed last year was unable to get its policy program and budget through parliament, the country's president said Friday.

President Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres said he had dissolved the parliament. He has yet to announce an election date.

"I ask the people to vote again. We will all go to vote. We will all go to elections to improve our democracy," he said.

The decision was supported by the two biggest parties in parliament, Fretilin, which led the minority government, and the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction party of independence hero Xanana Gusmao, or CNRT.

"We have told the president that he should make any decision, whatever it is, to solve the current political crisis," said Taur Matan Ruak, leader of a minor party and spokesman for the opposition alliance in parliament.

Previously, Fretilin was part of a national unity government with the CNRT. In the July parliamentary election, CNRT lost support and Fretilin narrowly became the largest party. Opponents said its minority government was unconstitutional.

The government's 2018 budget was rejected by parliament in December, its second defeat after its policy program was rejected in October.

East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was occupied by Indonesia for a quarter century. It gained independence after a U.N.-sponsored referendum in 1999 but reprisals by the Indonesian military devastated the East Timorese half of the island of Timor.

Today, the country of 1.3 million people still faces desperate poverty. Leaders have focused on big-ticket infrastructure projects to develop the economy, funding them from a dwindling supply of former oil riches, but progress is slow.

Parliamentary and presidential elections held last year were the first without U.N. supervision since peacekeepers left in 2012.

You may also interested in

Villagers race to save Bali cows from volcanic...

Sep 30, 2017

Bali's gently lowing cows, prized for their hardiness and doe-like temperament, won't become...

Hundreds leave Papua villages in separatist...

Nov 20, 2017

Indonesian police say hundreds more people have left villages in easternmost Papua that were at the...

Bali volcano erupts but flights operating normally

Nov 26, 2017

A volcano on the Indonesian island of Bali has rumbled into life with a series of eruptions that...

Bali volcano ash drifts 4.7 miles high, airport...

Nov 29, 2017

An erupting volcano with a deadly history on Indonesia's Bali island has spread drifting ash 7,600...

Bali flights resume, but volcanic ash still...

Nov 30, 2017

Flights trickled out of Bali a day after its airport reopened but the erupting volcano there shut...

People also read these

Indonesia police say policeman killed in Papua...

Nov 15, 2017

Indonesian police say gunmen shot and killed a police officer in the latest attack by separatists...

Disbelief as 'most wanted' Indonesia politician...

Nov 17, 2017

A top Indonesian politician embroiled in a corruption scandal has been hospitalized after a car...

Tens of thousands stranded as Bali volcano closes...

Nov 27, 2017

Indonesian authorities ordered a mass evacuation of people from an expanded danger zone around an...

Stranded in Bali tourists lampooned online for...

Dec 1, 2017

Australian tourists who complained about being stranded on tropical Bali when volcanic ash closed...

Indonesia politician's graft trial delayed by...

Dec 13, 2017

A top Indonesian politician accused of involvement in one of the country's biggest corruption...

Penggerak pasaran mengikut TradingView

About Us

Duniaga is Malaysia’s top local source for business news and information where people head to stay connected with the business news. We give daily in-depth analysis on the business happenings in the country.

Contact us: sales@duniaga.com

Subscribe Now!