The Need For Strong Political Party Programs

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Uma Fukun Parlamentu Nasional Timor-Leste

Ten years after achieving independence, our political parties have yet to reach levels of political maturity desired for the conduct of exemplary, vigorous and informative elections. This is to be expected in such a short period of time, however political debate in this country suffers from continual structural problems within most political parties.

Every political campaign sees a shift in the affiliations of numerous politicians at both the national and district level from one party to another. This has recently been the case with members of ASDT, PLPA and PSD and some other major parties.

Apart from creating a sense of confusion among voters, this also reinforces the political vacuum that exists within most political parties in terms of party programs. There hasn’t been a push for politicians to develop or discuss political party programs on the security sector, education, health etc… Instead many political parties have engaged in political prostitution whereby they attempt to court people’s votes not by convincing them with their programs but by enticing them with material donations and empty promises.

FM would like to see all political parties running for office in the upcoming parliamentary election to put forward their policies for ensuring security during the election campaign but also their policies on matters related to security should they be victorious and hold office.

FM wishes that political parties would put forward their policies for internal and external security, as well as their policy priorities for maritime and border security, so to better understand how they would combat, for example, against illegal fishing.

Other areas of interest to FM would be to learn about their policies to counter the negative repercussions caused by the imminent departure of UNMIT, which will leave many unemployed and may become a source of instability.

Finally, FM feels it is important, considering the growing sense of corruption in this country, that political parties present their policies aimed at combating corruption and upholding the accountability of government.

Political parties must ensure they present their political programs in all sectors, so that they can be accessible to people and so that voters can develop an informed opinion and are therefore better equipped to ask questions when meeting politicians. FM wishes for not only a peaceful election but also one that is rich in debate and ideas.

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