'Subject: Constituent Assembly: Summary of district consultations on constitution

ASSEMBLEIA CONSTITUINTE TIMOR-LESTE 
CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY EAST TIMOR

Secretariado 
Secretariat

Press Release

Friday, 8 March 2002

President Lu-Olo of the Constituent Assembly officially submitted today the reports on the public consultations to the Systematisation and Harmonization Commission. The reports are written by the 13 groups of CA members who conducted public consultations on the draft constitution from 25 February ­ 2 March throughout the country. The reports contain, among other issues, the main recommendations on the constitution made by the public.

Below is a summary reflecting the main proposals in the reports from nine districts (Lospalos, Baucau, Dili, Ainaro, Oecusse, Suai, Ermera, Bobonaro and Aileu) .The summaries of the reports on the other four districts will be provided next week.

Lautem (Lospalos) The following proposals are among the main issues that were raised by the public:

- The dates of the independence — the people questioned whether the date of independence is 28 November 1975 or 20 May 2002.

- East Timor should have Catholicism as official religion

- The name of God should be used in the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of the President

- Indonesian and Tetum should be recognized as official language. Portuguese should not be included as official language

- The military court should be abolished

- New elections for the National Parliament

- East Timor should not only have a special relation with the Portuguese speaking countries but also with Indonesia and Australia

- The powers of granting amnesty should be given to President and not to the Parliament

Baucau

- The name of God should be mentioned during the swearing-in ceremony of the President

- Falintil-FDTL should not get involved in political and economic affairs

- No immunity for members of Government; all people should be treated equally

- The president should not be polygamous

- The date of 30 August 1999 should be included in the constitution as the date of the parliamentary elections

- The Constituent Assembly, after being transformed into the National Parliament, should be responsible for socializing the constitution throughout the country

- The national anthem should be “Patria, Patria”

- In order to prevent confusion: elimination of the term FDTL from the official name (as proposed in the constitution) of the East Timorese Defence Force “Falintil-FDTL”

-The state should recognize catholicism as the offcial religion of East Timor

Dili

- The constitution should include a clear definition for youth and senior citizens

- The state should guarantee the existence of traditional medicine

- East Timor should have an official religion

- The colour of the national flag should be revised

- The name of God should be included in the oath during the swearing-in of President

- There should be one name of the Defence Force; either Falintil or FDTL

Ainaro

- The name of God should be included in the oath during the swearing-in ceremony of the President

- Elimination of term Maubere

- Recognition of the role of the Catholic Church in the struggle for national liberation

Oe-cusse

- No transformation of the Constituent Assembly into the National Parliament; there should be fresh elections

- Catholicism as the official religion of East Timor

- 30 August 1999 should be the date of independence and not 28 November 1975

- The Defence Force should be named “Falintil”

Suai

- East Timor should have an official religion

- 30 August 1999 as date of independence and not 28 November 1975

- Recognition of the role of Catholic Church during the process of national liberation

- The name of God should be included in the oath during swearing-in ceremony of the President

- No immunity for the members of the Government; everyone is equal for the law

- The constitution should have two separate sections defining the role of Falintil and FDTL

Ermera

- The date of independence should be 30 August 1999

- The role of the Catholic Church in the process of national liberation should be recognized

- East Timor should have catholicism as official religion

- The name of God should be used in the oath during swearing-in ceremony of the President

- No transformation of the Constituent Assembly into National Parliament; new elections for the national parliament needed.

- The word “Democratic” should be deleted from the “Democratic Republic of East Timor”, which is the official name proposed by the CA

- There should a new, separate section on Falintil.

Bobonaro

- The name of God should be mentioned in the oath during the swearing-in of the President

- Separate sections defining Falintil and FDTL

- The colour green should be added to the national flag

- The “Rooster” as national symbol of East Timor and not the “Crocodile”

Aileu

- The Catholic Church should have a more prominent place in the Constitution

- Addition of the phrase ‘The State should believe in God’ to article 12

- Green should be added as new colour to the national flag

- The name of God should be included in the oath during the swearing-in of the President

- The President should be a religious person

- The Defence Force of East Timor should be named FDRDTL (Forca Defesa RDTL — Defence Force of Democratic Republic of East Timor).

Press Conference

During the weekly press conference journalists asked CA-President Lu-Olo to which extend the CA-members are willing to change the constitution after hearing the comments by the population during the public consultations. With regard to the proposal to introduce catholicism as the official religion of East Timor, Lu-Olo said he was not in favour of this recommendation. He said he feared it could create religious conflicts in the future.

With regard to the next phase of the constitutional process Manuel Tilman, the rapporteur of the Systematisation and Harmonisation Commission, explained that the SHC will compile and analyse all the reports and the previously received proposals from the government and civil society. Then the SHC will meet with delegations from the thirteen groups of CA-members that went to the districts for the public consultations. After that the political parties will have separate meetings to discuss the proposals from the SHC. These meetings are followed by intra-parliamentary discussions which will result in a draft text including the last recommendations. This draft will be presented to the plenary, which will vote on each separate proposal. The proposals which are adopted by the plenary will be included in the text after which the final and global approval of the constitution will take place.

End/Fin

 

Text of Feb. 9 Draft Constitution as passed:  Original Portuguese: PDF, MSWord, Official translations:  English: PDFMSWord. Official Bahasa Indonesian: PDF, MSWord. Tetum: PDF, MSWord. Original draft: English, Portuguese


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