August 25th, 2017
The delays in the inauguration of the newly elected Parliament and in the formation of the new Government violate the Constitution of Timor-Leste. The results of the recent parliamentary election were confirmed by the Appellate Court and officially announced on August 1st. Although the Constitution stipulates newly elected MPs must be inaugurated a maximum of fifteen days after the announcement of election results, the new MPs have still not been inaugurated.
Therefore, for almost one month Timor-Leste has not had a valid National Parliament or Government. The outgoing parliament has continued holding sessions despite its expired mandate. Furthermore, Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araujo has declared an “Interim Government” (Governu de Jestaun) even though this step lacks any constitutional basis.
Therefore, Timor-Leste’s current government is wholly unconstitutional. The 2012-2017 Parliament lacks the constitutional authority to extend its own mandate. The Prime Minister’s declaration of an “Interim Government” is also illegitimate, particularly since the end of the prime minister’s five-year term means that his authority has expired. Consequently, the decisions of Timor-Leste’s current regime have no legal validity.
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