Standoff in Ministerial Cabinent as Nominated Members Refuse Inauguration Featured

By Cristina Ximenes September 20, 2018 1930
President of the Republic  Francisco Guterres Lu Olo President of the Republic Francisco Guterres Lu Olo

DILI: Three senior nominated members for Timor-Leste’s ministerial cabinet are standing in solidarity with colleagues the President of the Republic rejected for government, refusing to be sworn in.

Samual Marcal, Alfredo Pires and Rogerio Mendonca had been approved by President Francisco Lu Olo Guterres to take on respective portfolios of Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Minister Strategic Planning and Development and Vice Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries.

The members were first due to be sworn in on 16 August 2018.

The stance comes after Lu Olo rejected 11 nominated candidates from the Alliance for Change and Progress (AMP) coalition government on June 22 because of their involvement in corruption investigations.

Marcal and Mendonca had been approved to replace Gustao de Sousa, nominee for Strategic Investment and Planning Minister, and Marcos de Cruz, nominee for Vice Agriculture Minister.

Pires was to continue in the position he has held since 2012.

On Monday, after receiving the solidarity news, Lu Olo questioned the position in Parliament saying “he did not understand” the decision when their nomination had come from within their own party.

Lu Olo said he stood by his commitment to having a “clean government” free of corruption.

“What I have done is for the sake of this government,” Lu Olo said.

He called on Ruak to continue open dialogue with him and immediately nominate candidates to fill the nine ministerial vacancies.

 

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