|Subject: Lusa: Coalition Government
Approved, Ministers Chosen -- UN
East Timor: Coalition Government Approved, Ministers Chosen – UN 12 Jul-18:32
The National Consultative Council of East Timor has approved the formation of a transition government that will include four ministers from East Timor and four from the international community.
A high-level UN official in Dili told Lusa the proposal was approved at the Wednesday afternoon Council session. The regulation calls for the creation of a cabinet with eight minister-level officers, half of them East Timorese, who are appointed by the territory's chief UN administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, after "due consultation with representatives of East Timorese groups." The source also confirmed the list of nominees, whose names are given below.
The East Timorese members of the transition cabinet and their responsibilities as given by the source are as follows:
Infrastructures - Joao Carrascalao, current president of the UDT (Timorese Democratic Union) and a vice president of the CNRT (National Council of Timorese Resistance);
Economy - Mari Alkatiri, secretary of Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor);
Social Affairs - Filomeno Jacob;
Internal Administration - Mariano Lopes, current head of the Territory's Civil Service Commission.
Members of the international community slated for cabinet posts are, according to the source:
Police and Emergency Services - Jean-Christian Cady, current number two in the UNTAET (UN Transition Administration) hierarchy;
Justice - Gita Welsh;
Finance - Michael Francino;
Political Affairs - Peter Galbraith.
The source told Lusa that the list of cabinet members would only be released publicly on Thursday, when the Council is scheduled to debate formation of a National Legislative Council.
CNRT leaders were meeting into the night Wednesday, discussing the final position to take into the Thursday Consultative Council meeting, an East Timorese source said.
Another UN source said the cabinet proposal had been adopted "practically without any major alterations."
The participation in the cabinet of Filomeno Jacob, a Catholic priest, was reportedly authorized by Dili Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, but only "for the transition period."
East Timor, which had been occupied by Indonesia for 24 years, voted for independence in a plebiscite last Aug. 30. It has since October been governed by UNTAET, which has a mandate to prepare the half-island for full independence.
--- East Timor: Ramos Horta Welcomes Approval of Transition Cabinet 12 Jul-19:01
Jose Ramos Horta hailed Wednesday the approval of a mixed transition cabinet for East Timor, saying it was a "great challenge" and "fully met the expectations and concerns of the East Timorese."
The 1996 Nobel Peace co-laureate spoke to Lusa shortly after the Territory's National Consultative Council approved the formation of a government with four East Timorese cabinet officers and four others chosen from the international community.
"It is also a great challenge for the East Timorese and the CNRT (National Council of Timorese Resistance). From being spectators and persons charged with taking a critical stance regarding the UN, we will now become partners, jointly responsible for running the country, preparing the transition and independence," he said. Ramos Horta is a vice president of the CNRT, the pro- independence umbrella group headed by Xanana Gusmao. Although he will not serve on the new transition cabinet, he guaranteed that he would give total support to the new ministers.
A UN source in Dili had earlier Wednesday confirmed to Lusa the Council's decision to approve the cabinet, along with the names of the ministerial officers.
The list of cabinet appointees will only be formally released to the public on Thursday, when the Consultative Council meets to debate formation of a National Legislative Council.
East Timor has been governed since last October by a UN Transition Administration (UNTAET), charged with preparing the half- island for full independence. JBC -Lusa
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