FRETILIN MEDIA RELEASE Dili, 29 June 2009 PARLIAMENT REJECTS GOVERNMENT DRAFT ANTI CORRUPTION LAW: UNANIMOUSLY VOTES FOR ITS OWN VERSION
The Timor-Leste National Parliament in a rare display of bi-partisanship today passed with near unanimity (no votes against but one abstention) its own anti-corruption law, in the process rejecting a draft that had been proposed by the Government over nearly one year and which had been submitted to the National Parliament.
Speaking to journalists in Dili today, FRETILIN MP andformer Prime MinisterEstanislau da Silva said that this law would be a good start to combating the official corruption that has become entrenched in Timorese society over the last two years but that it would be the “silver bullet” many speak of, urging that continued vigilance from the people, the media and the opposition will be the only way for the evil of corruption to be eradicated from Timor-Leste’s national life.
“FRETILIN is happy that the de facto government’s own MPs agreed with FRETILIN and its allies like KOTA and PPT, as well as the non-allied opposition parties like PUN to pass a law that is the result of multi-party consensus and reject the flawed and unconstitutional draft proposed law from the Government. It shows that it is not just FRETILIN that is concerned with the growing corruption in the current government. Like us, they know they will be called to account by the people at the ballot box, unlike the government who will enrich themselves and their cronies through corruption, collusion and nepotism and refuse to be held accountable to anyone, even the parliament,” da Silva said.
“It comes at a very crucial time in our countries development. It comes at a time when allegations have been made of official corruption at the highest levels, including the level of the Prime Minister. He will be held to account in the coming weeks. His sense of impunity and unaccountability will be brought to check with the inception of this commission, whose independence and effectiveness has now been maximized by the law that was approved,” da Silva added.
Da Silva warned however, that the lack of political will that has plagued the Gusmao AMP government to effectively tackle corruption despite the rhetoric must change however if there is to be an effective and successful anti-corruption system in place.
“What we need are the integrity systems in place, that people respect them and that the institutions like the commission, the prosecutorial offices and the courts are well resourced. The prosecutorial and judicial arms will also have to be strengthened. We now have the money to do that through appropriate budget increases. We have to do it, or nothing will happen in the fight against corruption,” he said in closing.
For further information please contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080