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Every months the workers in Korea send $ 1,7 million for the family Monday, 14 April 2014 15:50 Secretary of State for Vocational Training and Employment (SEPFOPE) Ilidio Ximenes da Costa said Timorese workers in South Korea sent $1,7 million to home to their families.
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Priests refuse to baptise children of incest Monday, 14 April 2014 15:22 Catholic priests and nuns are refusing to baptise children born of incest, according to Timor-Leste Women’s Communication Forum (FOKUPERS) shelter home coordinator Judit da Conceição Ribeiro.
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Government to purchase more hearses Friday, 11 April 2014 15:26 National Parliament Member (MP) Antonio Serpa Ximenes has urged the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MSS) to buy more funeral cars as the current amount of vehicles is insufficient.
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Amante: FFTL corrupt Thursday, 10 April 2014 14:51 Football fan association Amante has levelled allegations of corruption at the Timor-Leste Football Federation as the federation has not published a report concerning funds received from Digicel Company and Timor Telecom.
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PM Xanana: ADN is a budget watchdog Wednesday, 09 April 2014 15:32 Prime Minister (PM) Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão has said the National Development Agency (ADN) was established to avoid budget wastage.
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image Every months the workers in Korea send $ 1,7 million for the family
image Priests refuse to baptise children of incest
image Government to purchase more hearses
image Amante: FFTL corrupt
image PM Xanana: ADN is a budget watchdog

Capital

Tue 15 Apr 2014, 15:30
ses-offers-26-motorbikes-to-polkomSecretary of State for Security (SES) has provided 26 Honda motorbikes to the Communitarian Police in order to facilitate their work. National Department of Communitarian Police (DPKN) Deputy Chief...
Mon 24 Mar 2014, 16:40
mps-laud-plan-to-open-timor-leste-news-agencyMembers of National Parliament have lauded the plan by the State Secretary of Social Communication (SEKOMS) to open a news agency in Timor-Leste. Member of Parliament MP Pedro da Costa Martires said...
Mon 24 Mar 2014, 11:42
bianco-budget-insufficient-to-install-broadcast-equipment-in-parliamentParliament does not have the funds to install equipment to broadcast video footage or audio from inside chambers, according to Member of Parliament (MP) Antonino Bianco. The Fretilin MP said despite...

Development

Tue 15 Apr 2014, 16:44
oe-cusse-ferry-has-close-call-off-atapupuThe ship “Anugrah”, which has replaced “Nakroma”, almost sank off the coast of Atapupu, Atambua, Indonesia, in a storm. “When it arrived at Atapupu from Oe-Cusse, the gate of the ship fell down because...
Mon 14 Apr 2014, 16:41
kak-commissioner-mandate-expiredLalenok Ba Ema Hotu (LABEH) organization has urged the National Parliament (NP) to hold an election to choose a new commissioner president for Anti-Corruption Commission (KAK) for coming four years...
Mon 14 Apr 2014, 16:14
mp-blasts-village-chief-for-handing-mdg-houses-over-to-public-servantsMember of National Parliament (MP) Agostinho Lay has criticised the attitude of the chief of Fatukero village in Ermera district who has handed Millenium Development Goal’s (MDG’s) houses – meant to house...

Education

Wed 16 Apr 2014, 10:35
university-students-push-for-sexual-slavery-national-seminarUniversity students have urged the HAK Association to organize a national seminar in Timor-Leste to encourage leaders, including those of the Japanese government, to speak with Timorese victims of sexual...
Wed 09 Apr 2014, 14:57
subsidy-increases-but-school-feeding-program-menu-not-nutritiousMember of National Parliament Antonio dos Santos has raised concerns about the school feeding program as the meals served were nutritionally inadequate, despite the fact the government has increased the...
Mon 07 Apr 2014, 15:17
attack-by-teacher-leaves-students-in-serious-conditionA primary school teacher in Fatuberliu, Manufahi district, has assaulted 10 students, two of whom are in a serious condition. Member of Parliament (MP) Leonel Marcal said the two students in a serious...

Health

Fri 11 Apr 2014, 16:25
dengue-diagnostic-agent-shortageMember of National Parliament Bendita Magno has called on the Ministry of Health to address a Dili-wide shortage of the substance needed to diagnose dengue. MP Magno said the disease posed a risk to...
Thu 10 Apr 2014, 15:19
the-patients-transferred-abroad-70-wasting-of-state-budgetMany overseas patient transfers are a waste of state money, according to obstetrician Jose Antonio Zeto. Doctor Zeto said in 2013, the government spent US$2 million on transferring patients abroad for...
Fri 04 Apr 2014, 14:48
discipline-needed-to-execute-health-budgetMember of National Parliament (MP)  Josefa Alvares Pereira Soares has called on the Ministry of Health to act with  discipline when executing this year’s budget so the people can benefit from the increase...

Human Rights

Wed 16 Apr 2014, 10:48
university-students-push-for-sexual-slavery-national-seminarUniversity students have urged the HAK Association to organize a national seminar in Timor-Leste to encourage leaders, including those of the Japanese government, to speak with Timorese victims of sexual...
Mon 14 Apr 2014, 16:26
mp-blasts-village-chief-for-handing-mdg-houses-over-to-public-servantsMember of National Parliament (MP) Agostinho Lay has criticised the attitude of the chief of Fatukero village in Ermera district who has handed Millenium Development Goal’s (MDG’s) houses – meant to house...
Mon 14 Apr 2014, 15:34
priests-refuse-to-baptise-children-of-incestCatholic priests and nuns are refusing to baptise children born of incest, according to Timor-Leste Women’s Communication Forum (FOKUPERS) shelter home coordinator Judit da Conceição Ribeiro. She said...

Gender

Tue, Apr 2014, 15:49
sepi-to-raise-awareness-of-domestic-violence-lawsThe Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI),Idelta Maria Rodrigues said SEPI will this year hold a campaign toraise awareness and open dialogue with teachers and students in 13 districts...
Thu, Apr 2014, 16:40
account-of-women-s-involvement-in-independence-struggle-to-be-published-soonNational Commission for Research and Timor-Leste Women History’s Elaboration (KNPEHTL) Coordinator Nuno Rodrigues says the commission will soon publish the book ‘Women’s Roles for National Liberty’. He...
Thu, Apr 2014, 15:26
district-based-sepi-vocal-points-don-t-workPotential female candidates for public office from the districts have questioned the usefulness of the Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality’s (SEPI) Vocal Points. Ainaro district potential...

Children/Youth

Fri, Apr 2014, 15:55
hngv-partners-with-korean-organization-to-provide-free-care-for-children-with-cleft-lipsNational Hospital Guido Valadares (HNGV) directors have cooperated with the Korean Association of Research and Charity Craniofacial Deformity (CARCCD) to perform free corrective surgery for children...
Wed, Apr 2014, 12:01
childfund-capacitates-carpentry-for-the-youth-who-drop-outChildFund has conducted a training program in Timor-Leste to teach unemployed young people about carpentry, particularly Maliana sub-district school drop-outs.  President and chief executive officer...
Wed, Apr 2014, 11:30
sfcg-provides-funds-to-17-youth-groupsThe Search for Common Ground (SFCG) organization has provided funds to 17 youth groups from nine districts to run businesses and motivate them to be good and successful businessmen in the future. SFCG...

Security/Defence/Justice

Tue, Apr 2014, 16:28
pntl-to-purchase-more-new-uniformsNational Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) plans to purchase 13.500 new uniformsthis year. PNTL General Command chief logistical officer Superintendent Basilio de Jesus said the Secretary of State for...
Tue, Apr 2014, 16:11
pntl-cars-still-not-auctionedMember of National Parliament (MP) Albina Marcal Freitas has asked why Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL) cars earmarked for auction in 2012 are still yet to be sold. MP Freitas said institutions such...
Fri, Apr 2014, 11:48
pntl-to-install-radio-communication-repeatersThe National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) will soon set up radio communication repeaters in three sub-districts and one district. PNTL Chief Logistical office Superintendent Basilio de Jesus said the...

Editorial Corner

Wed, Jul 2013, 09:58
media-freedomMedia freedom is an important part of a functioning democracy. For Timor-Leste, many steps have been taken to ensure that this is the case and in theory, the media in Timor-Leste should be incredibly...
Fri, Apr 2013, 17:02
overview-interconnection-development-in-east-timorA. Estrutura Desenvolvimento Regulamentu InterligasaunInterligasaun hanesan mos tema sentral iha regulamentu interligasaun kuandu industria telekomunikasaun muda nia estrutura husi monopoli ba...
Fri, Apr 2013, 17:02
overview-interconnection-development-in-east-timor61A. Interconnection regulation Development Framework Interconnection is a central issue in the regulation of telecommunications as the telecommunications industry transformed from a monopolistic structure...

Advertorials

Fri, Mar 2014, 18:56
a-journey-to-health-begins-for-lucasElda de Jesus is a poor subsistence farmer, raising vegetables to feed her family on the outskirts of Dili. But she didn't need a medical degree to know that the blood noses, headaches and wildly racing...

Assessing the numbers in Timor-Leste’s elections

Professor Damien Kingsbury
Director, Centre for Citizenship,
Development and Human Rights, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia

Jose Ramos-Horta’s decision to support the Democratic Party (PD) in the parliamentary elections has two sets of implications for Timor-Leste’s politics. The first and most obvious will be the effect that this has on the outcome of the parliamentary elections and in particular the level of success of PD. The second, less obvious, implication will be for the next, second round of the presidential election, for which Ramos-Horta was unsuccessful.

Assuming that votes for candidates will be translated, more or less, into parliamentary votes, based on Ramos-Horta’s support, with his 18% added to PD’s 17%, PD can expect to receive around 35% of the vote which, extrapolating from first round presidential figures, is likely to make it Timor-Leste’s single largest party and hence in a dominant position to form a majority alliance in parliament.

The difficulty is, however, that while some parties closely extrapolate from presidential to parliamentary results, in the 2007 elections, PD did not. Indeed, the result for PD’s candidate, Fernando ‘Lasama’ de Araujo, of 19% in the 2007 presidential race slumped to 11.3% for PD in the parliamentary vote. There was, then, a very big question over whether PD could retain Lasama’s 2012 17% vote for the parliamentary election and, moreover, whether Ramos-Horta’s personal vote would hold when he was not a candidate.

If these votes cannot hold, then PD may end up as the junior partner in a parliamentary alliance or, less likely, it may be out of an alliance altogether. If these votes do hold up, then PD may be a, or the, dominant party. 
The further question is if, in exchange for his support, Ramos-Horta would want to be appointed as prime minister. Under the Timor-Leste system, ministers can be appointed from outside parliament, with those appointed from within being replaced from their party’s electoral list.

Lasama would, however, probably be looking covetously upon the position of prime minister for himself, if adding Ramos-Horta’s support to PD was to produce a plurality in the parliament. This would then leave open the option of Ramos-Horta returning to his former position, between 2002-06, as Foreign Minister, which he undertook with considerable success. Having said this, Ramos-Horta may also be satisfied with the work he has done to date for Timor-Leste, spanning some 38 years, and move out of official life.

The question is, however, whether the 18% of the vote that was allocated to Ramos-Horta in the first presidential round would automatically flow to PD, even with Ramos-Horta’s endorsement. No doubt much of the vote he received was due to his personal standing as president. But as he will not be standing in the parliamentary election and party loyalties remain strong, it is less than certain that all of his vote will automatically flow to PD.

However, Ramos-Horta’s endorsement of PD does give the once student-based party a much stronger chance of doing well in the parliamentary elections and positions it, and Lasama, well for future contests.

More interesting, however, was Ramos-Horta’s neutrality over the issue of his successor as president. In this, he has refused to endorse either of the two candidates going through to the second round of the presidential election.

By endorsing PD in the parliamentary elections, however, Ramos-Horta may have more subtly indicated his support for whichever candidate PD chooses to support. At this stage, Lasama has not indicated whether he will throw PD’s support behind Fretilin’s Lu-Olo or the Xanana Gusmao-back Taur Matan Ruak. Lu-Olo received 28% of the vote which, if it is consistent with 2007, will probably also be reflected in Fretilin’s vote in the parliamentary elections. Ruak received 25% of the vote, which could reasonably be allocated to CNRT.

Despite occasional differences, PD enjoyed five years in government as a parliamentary alliance partner with Gusmao’s CNRT, with Lasama occupying the position of parliamentary president (speaker or chair) with the support of CNRT founder and later prime minister, Xanana Gusmao. The two are generally understood to have had a close alliance and Lasama will need a strong incentive to beak it.

If Lasama remains neutral - which still might only be a superficial neutrality - much of PD’s support can be expected to go to Ruak, given the party’s traditional antipathy towards Fretilin. If he supports Ruak, that flow of support would be almost complete and, with Ramos-Horta’s support for PD, potentially be enough to create a CNRT-PD government. Having said that, such a government would probably try to pick up extra parliamentary support from minor parties, to increase their buffer over a Fretilin-led opposition.

However, if Lasama was to break with his own political past and endorse Lu-Olo, it is reasonable to expect PD’s presidential vote would split. A split vote would favour Lu-Olo, having already secured the support of a couple of minor parties, and potentially be enough to push him over the 50% line. 

The question would be, then, where support for Ramos-Horta was allocated. Had Ramos-Horta not indicated any political preference for the parliamentary outcome, it is likely his vote would have been fairly evenly divided between the two candidates.

Added to PD supporters’ traditional antipathy towards Fretilin, this would have resulted in Ruak picking up votes to close the gap on Lu-Olo’s three per cent lead and, probably, passing it. If, however, Lasama does opt in favour of a particular candidate and most of Ramos-Horta’s support follows, this could be expected to be the decisive moment that determines the presidential outcome, either Ruak will carry most of the non-Fretilin vote and be comfortably elected, or the first round non-Fretilin vote will be split, making it a close contest for the presidency.

How the political parties line up on the issue of the presidency will also indicate how the parliamentary election and consequent alliances to form government is likely to unfold.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Poll/Survey of the week

Aid money has been adequately used for Development in Timor-Leste over the past 10 year?

Yes - 6.3%
No - 93.8%

Total votes: 16
The voting for this poll has ended on: 22 Feb 2014 - 10:40

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