Prime Minister resigns to make way for new generation
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão has tendered his resignation to President José Maria Vasconcelos (Taur Matan Ruak). The announcement appears to have been made after long consultations with the President about a reorganisation of the government and slimming down of the Cabinet. The Prime Minister who is now 68 years old wants to make way for a new generation but might remain as a minister in any new government.
A full government reshuffle is expected within the next week.
The formal announcement by the government said “The Government confirms that the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, sent to the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, his letter of resignation from the post of Prime Minister.
It is now up to the President to consider and respond to this letter of resignation.
According to Law 07/2007, the Prime Minister shall end when the President of the Republic swears in the new prime minister.
The Prime Minister encouraged all members of the Government to continue to work quietly during this moment of transition until the new government takes office. According to the Constitution, the President shall consult all political parties of the National Parliament and the Council of State.
The Spokesperson of the V Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira, stressed that “members of the government – those who stay, those who leave and those that will integrate the executive – still, all working together, will ensure the national interest of Timor-Leste, and the commitment to respect the dignity and the legacy of “Maun-Bo’ot Xanana”, as he makes the transition of leadership, after leading the national Liberation Fight to the end , completing the five-year term as president and seven and a half years as Prime Minister. ”
Even before the Prime Minister’s formal resignation the President had been meeting with members of the government and opposition. A posting on the President’s website dated for Wednesday states:
“H.E. THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC MEETS WITH COALITION BLOC AND OPPOSITION PARTY
Dili, 4 February 2015 – H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, met at the Presidential Palace, this Tuesday, with the three parties of the coalition formed by CNRT, PD and Frente Mudança; and, on Wednesday, with the opposition party, Fretilin. The Government reshuffle plan and the possible resignation of Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão were discussed during both meetings.
In the first day of meetings, the following parties were represented:
– National Council of Timorese Resistance (Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense – CNRT), represented by the party’s Secretary-General, Dionísio Babo, and National Political Committee representative, Francisco Kalbuadi;
– Democratic Party (Partido Democrático – PD), represented by the party’s President, Fernando Lasama de Araújo, and Secretary-General, Mariano Asanami Sabino; and
– Frente Mudança, represented by José Luis Guterres and Secretary-General Jorge da Conceição Teme.
The following day, H.E. the President of the Republic met with the President of Fretilin, Francisco Guterres Lú Olo, and its Secretary-General, Mari Alkatiri.
At the end of the first day of meetings, the President of the Democratic Party, Fernando Lasama de Araújo, said that he confirmed the bloc’s reshuffle to the President of the Republic and that they already talked to the Prime Minister. Lasama de Araújo also mentioned that the President of the Republic asked them to continue discussing the matter and expressed his availability to continue to meet with them.
Talking to the press after his meeting with the Head of State, Mari Alkatiri, reaffirmed the need for the President of the Republic to hear all non-Government parties, namely Fretilin, before the new members of Government take office.
The Former Prime Minister of the 1st Constitutional Government also said that Fretilin will continue to ensure peace and stability in Timor-Leste, but supports the reshuffle, advocating a reduction in the number of members of Government.”