Subject: LUSA: Parliament OKs budget proposals, despite opposition boycott

29-06-2004 18:48:00 GMT . Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-6154327 Temas:

East Timor: Parliament OKs budget proposals, despite opposition boycott

Dili, June 29 (Lusa) - The state budget proposed by East Timor`s ruling Fretilin party was approved Tuesday by the Dili parliament, although most opposition parties boycotted the debate and final vote in protest at the "arrogant" attitude of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

Dili`s budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is for USD 75 million expenditure, with Timor's hydrocarbon sector expected to generate USD 40 million in receipts for the exchequer.

The head of the opposition Timorese Democratic Association (ASDT), Francisco Xavier do Amaral, said Timor's main opposition groups had not attended the budget debate in protest at the low number of government ministers who sit on parliamentary committees.

In undervaluing the committees` work, Alkatiri was being "despotic", charged Xavier do Amaral, who is also a deputy speaker in the Dili parliament and was the first leader of Fretilin in its days as Timor`s main independence movement.

Xavier do Amaral, whose party has six seats in parliament, unsuccessfully ran against President Xanana Gusmão in Timor's first presidential elections.

Responding to the opposition criticism, Alkatiri noted there was "no obligation on the government to send ministers to committees".


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