FRETILIN General Secretary Mari Alkatiri said today his resignation as Prime Minister of Timor-Leste exactly one year ago did not solve the nation’s political crisis which was being prolonged by opposition groups including the CNRT party led by Jose Alexandre Gusmao.
Alkatiri said CNRT was acting as if it was above the law and had jeopardized the holding of free and fair parliamentary elections on Saturday (30 June).
Alkatiri said: “On this day 12 months ago I resigned as Prime Minister of the first Constitutional Government to avoid bloodshed, to contribute to the resolution of the crisis and to give others the opportunity to act to end the crisis.
“One year later the crisis has not ended with many issues remaining unresolved. The problem of the petitioners has not been resolved, the case of Alfredo Reinado has not been resolved and we still have tens of thousands of displaced people.
“It was claimed that my resignation would end the bloodshed and destruction. But today houses continue to be burned and people remain subjected to violence and intimidation.
“The state has lost its authority and the rule of law and democracy are being constantly compromised.
“In the current situation, a culture of impunity is progressively taking place and protection is given to thosewho should face justice.
“The fact that my resignation solved nothing shows that real responsibility for the crisis does not lie with FRETILIN, but with those who have tried, regardless of the cost, to destroy FRETILIN.”
Alkatiri said that if FRETILIN had not been tolerant and showed restraint, the crisis would have been much worse.
Alkatiri said, “Timor-Leste started holding elections in the belief that these would solve the nation’s problems.”
He added that despite their being concerns about the two rounds of the presidential election which had resulted in complaints made by FRETILIN to the National Electoral Commission (CNE), FRETILIN accepted the results of the presidential election which allowed the country to carry out the parliamentary elections according to the established timeline.
Alkatiri said, “The success of the presidential election was due to the capacity and tolerance and regard for the rule of law by FRETILIN and its leadership.”
“However, it is most disturbing that during the parliamentary election campaign the CNRT party has acted as if it was above the law,” Alkatiri said.
“First, CNRT has adopted a party name that is deliberately designed to mislead and deceive voters.
“Second, CNRT continues to use FRETILIN party symbols at its campaign rallies and on campaign posters in contravention of the electoral law.
“Third, it uses inflammatory language targeted at the FRETILIN leadership which contravenes the electoral code of conduct and is defamatory.
“Fourth, it has appointed disgraced army sergeant Vicente De Conceicao (aka Railos), an accused murderer, as its district coordinator in Liquica district west of Dili even though Railos was recommended for prosecution by the UN Independent Special Commission of Inquiry last year for his role in the 2006 crisis and had a letter of issued from the Dili district court judge requesting that he submit himself for investigation by the authorities. Railos’ role in Liquica is the systematic intimidation of FRETILIN supporters.
“Fifth, CNRT has on its parliamentary candidate list the former chief of the police, Paulo Martins, who was named by the UN Special Commission for the unauthorised arming of a force led by Deputy Commander Abilio Mesquita, who later led an attack on the home of the army commander Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak.
“These are just some examples of CNRT acting above the law and jeopardising the holding of free, fair and democratic elections”, said Dr Alkatiri.
“If CNRT lose the election will they accept the result? Gusmao is a person who will do anything to win and does not accept defeat. From the beginning of the campaign, CNRT has shown little or no respect for democracy. Gusmão considers himself above the Constitution and the laws of Timor-Leste.”
“Far from contributing to solving the political crisis, the behaviour of CNRT and its leader is in fact making it worse. Their actions are eroding the rule of law and weakening democracy.”
“CNRT gives continuation to Gusmão’s desire ‘to unite to command or to divide to rule.’”