UNITED NATIONS TRANSITIONAL ADMINISTRATION IN EAST TIMOR
UNTAET Daily Briefing 20 Sep 2001
Dili, 20 September 2001
NEW EAST TIMORESE GOVERNMENT SWORN-IN
The 24 members of the new all-East Timorese Council of Ministers of the Second Transitional Government, which replaces the Transitional Cabinet, were sworn-in before a large audience in Dili today.
The new Government was appointed three weeks after East Timor’s first democratic elections, in which the Fretilin Party won a majority of seats in the Constituent Assembly. The Government has 10 members from Fretilin, three members from the Democratic Party, and 11 independents. Two portfolios, the Vice-Minister of Economy and Development, and the Advisor on the Promotion of Equality, have yet to be filled. The new Government has five women and representatives from across the country.
Fretilin Secretary-General Mari Alkatiri will lead the government as Chief Minister and Minister of Economy and Development, and José Ramos-Horta has been appointed Senior Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Ana Pessoa will run the Justice portfolio, while Fernanda Borges will be the Minister for Finance. (Please find attached the full list of Government members).
Following the elections, SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello appointed Alkatiri who subsequently assisted him in forming the new Government. Consultations with the presidents of the other three parties that received the largest number of votes were conducted, as well as with other Timorese personalities.
“The outcome of these consultations is a Government composed of persons representing the first and second political parties of the country in terms of the number of votes they received on 30 August, selected not on the basis of party nominations but on the basis of their individual competence,” the SRSG said in a speech at this morning’s swearing-in ceremony.
Vieira de Mello added that the Government is composed of a “fair, but admittedly inadequate number of women” and “as many representatives of the new generation as was possible.”
“The challenges of the Government will be huge,” the SRSG said, adding that he believes that “these individuals will unite and give the best of themselves in what is perhaps the most rewarding task a Timorese or any citizen of any country can aspire to.”
Mari Alkatiri said that the Government met the criteria of technical competence and dedication in spite of party affiliation. “You were appointed because I believe you will place national interest above your own individual or party interests,” he said. “We are determined that this Government be an example in restoring the values and ethics of our society. What is being asked of you is total transparency, unconditional dedication and diligence to serve the nation.”
“I believe that only a national coalition of efforts can eradicate corruption, collusion and nepotism and uphold the values of social solidarity and justice,” he added.
The Second Transitional Government and its Council of Ministers will govern East Timor during the remaining transitional period before its independence as a democratic and sovereign state, which is expected early next year.
This Transitional Government will see its powers reinforced, formulating policies and supervising a newly formed public administration. It will also recommend to the Transitional Administrator the promulgation of legislation in close consultation with the Transitional Administrator, who retains the ultimate executive and legislative authority in accordance with resolution 1272 of the Security Council.
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