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Home >> World
UPDATED: 20:06, June 08, 2006
Timor-Leste parliament not to ask PM to resign
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The Timor-Leste Parliament would not request the country's embattled Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to resign because he was elected by the biggest party of Fretelin, the president of the parliament announced in the country on Thursday.

President of the parliament Francisco Guetteres said even if the country's President Xanana Gusmao would like to order the resignation, it could not happen, as President Xanana must coordinate with the parliament.

"The parliament would not take any decision to fire the prime minister, because the prime minister was elected by the biggest majority party, Fretelin," the president of the parliament said in a press conference release obtained by Xinhua here.

On the request to speed up general election in the tiny country, Guetteres said it could not be met as the country still did not own the constitution of the election and suffered from financial problem.

The country, which became independent in 2002 through a referendum in 1999, is scheduled to hold the election next year.

"It is difficult to hold a general election at the time requested by the mass, if we do not have the constitution of it," said the president of the parliament.

Dozens of troops from Australia and Malaysia intensively conducted surveillance on the way toward the country's Comoro airport on Thursday.

Pressure on the resignation of Timor-Leste Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has mounted since the first unrest on April 28 in Dili, during which more than 23 people were killed. The prime minister in April sacked over 600 soldiers, more than one-third of the tiny country's armed forces amount.

Many said he must be responsible for his decision to handle the riot, which then caused more casualties.

Alkatiri has said he will not leave his post, unless cross fires occur in all 13 districts of the country. He claimed that the demand of his resignation is only from the minority of people.

In another development here in Jakarta, Indonesian Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono said on Thursday that Indonesia would not send troops to Timor-Leste or join the possible UN peace keeping force, in a bid to prevent possible emerging of unfavorable comments.

But he said Indonesia would send humanitarian assistance when it is requested.

He reaffirmed Indonesia keeps the distance with the country by stepping up surveillance along the border with the country.

"I think it is better we keep distance on it, let them resolve their own problem. If later we enter the country, it may bring about suspicions," Sudarsono told reporters.

Source: Xinhua

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