Subject: KY: UN rejects calls for shared executive power in E. Timor

U.N. rejects calls for shared executive power in E. Timor

Kyodo News

DILI, East Timor , June 27 --

The United Nations has ruled out sharing executive power with East Timorese leader Xanana Gusmao in the lead-up to full independence for the U.N.-administered territory, according to a document obtained Tuesday.

The document, prepared by Jean-Christian Cady, deputy head of the U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), said the U.N. Security Council has vested all administrative and executive authority in UNTAET chief administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello, "which he cannot further transfer."

Cady prepared the document last week in response to a series of questions posed to UNTAET by the Socialist Party of Timor (PST), which has held a series of demonstrations outside UNTAET headquarters on a range of issues.

The PST had proposed that de Mello share executive power with Gusmao during the transitional period, which is expected to last one or two more years.

Gusmao is president of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance (CNRT), the main umbrella group of East Timorese political parties, including the PST.

"While the role of the president of the CNRT is essential in the consultative process, the PST proposal for shared executive power is not within UNTAET's capacity to grant," wrote Cady, the UNTAET official in charge charge of governance and public administration.

Cady acknowledged that a coalition government and planned expansion of the existing National Consultative Council (NCC) would increase East Timorese participation in policy-making and governance during the transitional period.

"The inclusion of East Timorese leaders in policy making 'cabinet' positions of a transitional government will allow them to share more fully in the experience of governing a nation, and to accept responsibility for the success or failure of policies," he said.

UNTAET and the CNRT have agreed to form a coalition government by mid-July, which will have a cabinet with four East Timorese members and four international members, each overseeing a variety of departments.

Gusmao will not play a formal role in the new government, but UNTAET officials said he will be consulted informally before de Mello makes a major decision, as has been the case thus far.

They stressed that while UNTAET would welcome Gusmao's taking a formal role, he himself thinks it best if he stayed outside of the process as the unifying force among the East Timorese people.

The agreement is part of what de Mello has termed the "accelerated Timorization of the East Timorese administration" as the territory moves toward full independence.

The U.N. will retain the internal security, justice, finance and political, constitutional and electoral affairs portfolios, while Timorese will take the economic affairs, infrastructure, social affairs and internal administration portfolios.

The East Timorese currently have a say in the decision-making process through the NCC, a quasi-legislative, quasi-cabinet that includes 11 East Timorese and four UNTAET members.

The expanded NCC will be reconstituted to comprise 33 East Timorese members, with 13 representatives from the territory's 13 districts, seven from CNRT parties, three from non-CNRT parties, 10 from various social groups, and none from UNTAET.

June Menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from