Subject: East Timor: Ruling party meets to discuss internal rifts

07-11-2002 20:52:00. Notícia nº 4314441…

East Timor: Ruling party meets to discuss internal rifts

Dili, Nov 7 (Lusa) - The leadership of East Timor`s ruling Fretilin party met Thursday with its deputies in the Dili parliament to discuss recent revelations of high absenteeism among Fretilin MPs and threats by the party's chiefs to expel "rogue" members.

Fretilin president Francisco Guterres and secretary- general Mari Alkatiri told Lusa Wednesday they were unhappy with the behavior of some Fretilin lawmakers, who had missed sitting of the Dili parliament without valid excuses.

"We will take measures against any deputy on the Fretilin benches who is absent and doesn't behave as they should", said Alkatiri, who is also the speaker of the Dili parliament.

Alkatiri also gave indications for the first time that there are some internal divisions within his party in parliament, and these potential rifts need the urgent attention of Fretilin's leaders.

"Obviously this kind of thing cannot be tolerated within the party and if anybody is doing this, they will be expelled", said Alkatiri.

After Thursday's meeting Fretilin chiefs, some party deputies said they had complained at the lack of coordination and transparency within the party.

Others criticized the lack of facilities in the Dili assembly, where MPs lack rooms for meetings and commissions work where they can find free space.

The perceived tensions within Fretilin led the opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD) to call a "day of mourning" next Monday in solidarity with Fretilin's disenchanted MPs.

PSD secretary general Leandro Isaac told Lusa that his party's six MPs would be wearing black "as a sign of total mourning".

ASP/CJB -Lusa-

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