Pacific Scoop

Horta asks PM to reshuffle East Timorese cabinet

President Ramos Horta ... worried about East Timor's reputation for corruption. Photo: AP

Pacific Scoop:
By a special correspondent in Dili

President José Ramos Horta has asked East Timor’s Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao to reshuffle the coalition government of the Majority Parliamentary Alliance (AMP) block amid ongoing allegations of corruption because “the time has come”.

Horta said he did not want a nation whose name is dirty in the international world due to corruption, and so for this year he wanted to see a cleaning up.

“I do not want to be ashamed in the international community that I am President of a state, a nation where corruption is rampant – as that dirties all of our names, especially the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister,” Horta told journalists.

He made the statement at the Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace, Bairo-Pite, Dili, immediately after a meeting with national and international business people.

The Head of State said he did not want to say in public what he had told the Prime Minister – especially to the media but it was a “normal concern” that he had.

More than two years had passed and the Prime Minister could already consider reshuffling the AMP government.

“Look to see if a minister is really serving the nation or not, serving the government, truly grasping governance within his or her ministry or not, or is it better to change one minister for another,” Horta said.

Power with PM
However, Horta emphasised to the journalists that the power was in the Prime Minister’s hands.

“I give him 100 percent, what he does I agree with and I support him. If there is something I don’t agree with I tell him but personally I can’t speak out because the power is in his hands to put in or remove people from the government,” Horta said.

Horta said he had heard the opinions from the population and the international community and he himself had given his opinion to the Prime Minister, but it depended on the Prime Minister to choose to follow this or not.

“It does not mean that what I have to say is right.  I can have my ideas. Also the Prime Minister is older than me and has more experience and is very intelligent.  For this reason, what I say doesn’t mean the Prime Minister has to follow,” Horta said.

Horta said this year he had already met with the PM and all members of government to improve even more governance so that budget execution would be better, and the cabinet must clean up Timor’s name and the government’s name of corruption.

“Concretely involved [in corruption], that I can’t say because I am not the Prosecutor General, I am not the Provedor for Justice and Human Rights.  I can speculate because I do not have proof,” he said.

“If I did have strong proof in hand and I saw the Prime Minister didn’t do anything, then I could speak. But at this time I do not have proof, I hear only people talking, talk that could be right, but we don’t know,” Horta said.

Source: Jornal Diario Nacional, 26 January 2010, translated for Pacific Scoop by MP José Teixeira

1 comment:

  1. Alu, 5. February 2010, 19:25

    Dear Readers,
    Corruption is one of the social disease that existed in the world since the civilization of the world. To mitigate corruption in this tiny island country all Timorese people must stand in one word THAT CORRUPTION IS PUBLIC ENEMY.

    Its must be recognize,Bribery,fraud,nepotism and kolution now grow up and some of public seravnts they adore that because they got benefit from this dirty activity.

    I am not totally punish that the dirty activity only did by Timorese people but there may some International people also contribute and act as master of corruption.