——– Forwarded Message ——–
Subject: E.Timor may force election
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2009 09:51:25 -0400
Sep 18, 2009
E.Timor may force election
DILI – EAST Timor’s opposition threatened on Friday to force an early
election in an escalating row with the government over the release of
an Indonesian militia leader accused of crimes against humanity.
Fretilin party spokesman Jose Teixeira told AFP the party will
‘seriously consider’ pulling out of parliament if a motion to censure
the government of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is not passed by parliament.
Fretilin, which controls 21 of the parliament’s 65 seats, submitted
the motion on Monday over the Gusmao government’s decision last month
to release militia leader Martenus Bere.
‘We can’t continue to be a part of what has become a violation of
law,’ Mr Teixeira said.
‘If the censure does not go through, we can’t see any way out,’ he
said, adding the withdrawal of Fretilin’s MPs would be enough to
automatically force an election.
Bere was arrested after crossing into East Timor on August 8, five
years after being indicted for his role in a string of human rights
violations including the 1999 Suai church massacre in which up to 200
people were killed.
The United Nations’ human rights representative in East Timor on
Tuesday criticised government ‘interference’ in freeing the militia
leader. But Gusmao and President Jose Ramos-Horta have said
reconciliation with giant neighbour Indonesia is more important than
dwelling on past abuses.
At least 100,000 people were estimated to have died during
Indonesia’s 24-year occupation of East Timor, which ended with bloody
violence surrounding a 1999 UN-backed independence vote. — AFP
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East Timor & Indonesia Action Network (ETAN)
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