National leaders: early elections only a last option

East Timor President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo speaks to the media in Presidential Palace (10/02) East Timor President Francisco Guterres Lu Olo speaks to the media in Presidential Palace (10/02) Photo Media Prezident

Tempotimor (Dili) – After a seven-hour long discussion, the national leaders agreed that the president must find ways to resolve the current political crisis that Timor-Leste is facing. They also concluded that early elections are only a last resort, when no other options are left.

The meeting was led by president Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, with the participation of national leaders such as prime minister Taur Matan Ruak, Fretilin-leader Mari Alkatiri, José Ramos Horta, Roque Rodrigues and army commander Lere Anan Timur. However, CNRT leader Xanana Gusmao did not join today’s discussions.

The meeting, which was held in the presidential palace in the capital city Dili, resulted in the leaders formulating three main points:

First, political parties with seats in the parliament must discuss solutions for the political crisis, with one option being the creation of a new coalition which will form a new government.

The second point is that Taur Matak Ruak continues as prime minister until there is a solution for this political stalemate.

Third, only if there is no other solution, early elections can be considered.

“We had a meeting today and one of the most important points that arose from the discussion is that early elections should only be a last resort,” said president Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo, speaking to the media in the presidential palace on Monday (10/2).

The president explained that since 20 January, when the parliament refused to pass the national state budget for 2020, he has been looking into the situation, promoting discussions between political parties and their leaders, civil society, veterans, religious leaders and other entities, and listening to their points of view regarding the current political situation in the country. (*)

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