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The political system in East Timor is a unitary semi-presidential representative democratic republic,[1][2][3] whereby the Prime Minister of East Timor is the head of government and the President of East Timor functions as head of state. East Timor has a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the president and the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The East Timorese constitution was modelled on that of Portugal, with lesser power given to the president.[2] The country is still in the process of building its administration and governmental institutions. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated East Timor a "flawed democracy" in 2022.[4]

Executive branch

Government Palace in Dili

The head of state of the East Timorese republic is the President, who is directly elected by popular vote for a five-year term, and whose executive powers are somewhat limited by the constitution, the president is able to veto legislation, however this action can be overridden by the parliament. Following elections, the president usually appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition as the prime minister,. As head of government the prime minister presides over the cabinet.

Main office-holders
Office Name Party Since
President José Ramos-Horta CNRT 20 May 2022
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão CNRT 1 July 2023

Legislative branch

Parliament of East Timor

The unicameral Timorese National Parliament (Parlamento Nacional) has 65 members elected by proportional representation (d'Hondt method) for a five-year term. The number of seats can vary from a minimum of 52 to a maximum of 65, with the exception of the first parliament, which included 88 members who previously served as the Constitutional Assembly six years rather than five (2001-2007). The longer term was in part due to the constitustion being put in place in 2002.[5]

The East Timorese constitution was modelled after that of Portugal.[6] The country is still in the process of building its administration and governmental institutions.

Political parties and elections

Main articles: List of political parties in East Timor and Elections in East Timor

Presidential elections

Main article: 2017 East Timorese presidential election

CandidatePartyVotes%
Francisco GuterresFretilin295,04857.08
António da ConceiçãoDemocratic Party167,79432.46
José Luís GuterresFrenti-Mudança13,5132.61
José NevesIndependent11,6632.26
Luís Alves TilmanIndependent11,1252.15
Antonio Maher LopesSocialist Party of Timor9,1021.76
Ángela FreitasTimorese Labor Party4,3530.84
Amorim VieiraIndependent4,2830.83
Total516,881100.00
Valid votes516,88197.74
Invalid/blank votes11,9322.26
Total votes528,813100.00
Registered voters/turnout743,15071.16
Source: CNE

Parliamentary elections

Main article: 2018 East Timorese parliamentary election

PartyVotes%Seats+/–
Alliance for Change and Progress (CNRTPLPKHUNTO)309,66349.5834–1
Fretilin213,32434.16230
Democratic Party50,3708.075–2
Democratic Development Forum (PUDD–UDTFM–PDN)34,3015.493+3
Hope of the Fatherland Party5,0600.8100
National Development Movement (APMT–PLPA–MLPM–UNDERTIM)4,4940.7200
Republican Party4,1250.6600
Social Democratic Movement (CASDTPSDPSTPDC)3,1880.5100
Total624,525100.00650
Valid votes624,52598.33
Invalid/blank votes10,5911.67
Total votes635,116100.00
Registered voters/turnout784,28680.98
Source: CNE

Recent developments

Francisco Guterres, known as Lú-Olo, of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) was elected president in 2017 and held the position until May 2022.[7] The Alliance for Change and Progress (AMP), a three-party alliance, attempted to form a coalition with National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction, led by former president Xanana Gusmao, but the talks failed and Fretilin formed a minority government with the Timorese Democratic Party (DP) in September 2017. In October that year, the three opposition parties formed an alliance called Parliamentary Majority Oppositional Alliance (AOMP), and following pressures from this opposition alliance, president Guterres decided to dissolve the parliament in January 2018. This led to the second general election in May 2018.[8] In June 2018, former president Jose Maria de Vasconcelos known as Taur Matan Ruak of the Alliance of Change for Progress (AMP), became the new prime minister.[9] José Ramos-Horta of the centre-left CNRT has served as the president of East Timor since 20 May 2022 after winning the April 2022 presidential election runoff.[10]

In parliamentary elections held on Sunday, May 21, 2023, the opposition party led by Xanana Gusmao won 41% of the vote, making him likely to return as prime minister of the country in a coalition with at least one other party.[11]

Judicial branch

The Supreme Court of Justice has one judge appointed by the National Parliament and the rest appointed by the Superior Council for the Judiciary. As mentioned in a 2010 source, the country was in the process of developing a legal system that includes private practice attorneys.[12]

Administrative divisions

Map of the districts of East Timor.

Main article: Municipalities of East Timor

East Timor is divided into thirteen municipalities:

  1. Lautém
  2. Baucau
  3. Viqueque
  4. Manatuto
  5. Dili
  6. Aileu
  7. Manufahi
  8. Liquiçá
  9. Ermera
  10. Ainaro
  11. Bobonaro
  12. Cova Lima
  13. Oecusse

The districts are subdivided into 65 subdistricts, 443 sucos and 2,336 towns, villages and hamlets. "Ministerial Order" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 January 2005. (213 KiB)

Cabinet

This article needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (May 2022)
Gusmão III (2023–present)

Main article: IX Constitutional Government of East Timor

Official Gazette of Announced Council of Ministers

Matan Ruak (2018–2023)[13]

Main article: VIII Constitutional Government of East Timor

Minister Name
Prime Minister
Minister of the Interior
Taur Matan Ruak
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Social Solidarity and Inclusion
Armanda Berta dos Santos
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Planning and Territory
Jose Reis
Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers Fidelis Leite Magalhães
Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Joaquim Amaral
Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs Francisco Martins da Costa Pereira Jerónimo
Minister of Finance Fernando Hanjam
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Adaljiza Magno
Minister of Justice Manuel Cárceres da Costa
Minister of State Administration Miguel Pereira de Carvalho
Minister of Health Odete Maria Belo
Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Armindo Maia
Minister of Higher Education, Science and Culture Longuinhos dos Santos
Minister for the Affairs of National Liberation Combatants Júlio Sarmento da Costa "Meta Mali"
Minister of Public Works Salvador Soares dos Reis Pires
Minister of Transport and Communications José Agustinho da Silva
Minister of Tourism, Trade and Industry José Lucas do Carmo da Silva
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Pedro dos Reis
Minister of Defense Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Víctor da Conceição Soares
Alkatiri II (2017–2018) [14]

Main article: VII Constitutional Government of East Timor

Minister Name
Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri
Minister of Development and Institutional Reform
Minister of State José Ramos-Horta
Rui Maria de Araújo
Estanislau da Silva
Mariano Assanami Sabino
Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister Hermenegildo Augusto Cabral Pereira
José Maria dos Reis
Counselor for National Security José Ramos-Horta
Presidency of the Council of Ministers Adriano do Nascimento
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Aurélio Guterres
Minister of Defence and Security José Agostinho Sequeira ("Somotxo")
Minister of Interior
Minister of Planning and Finance Rui Gomes
Deputy Minister of Housing, Planning and Environment Abrão Gabriel Santos Oliveira
Minister of Justice
Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastião Dias Ximenes
Minister of Health Rui Maria de Araújo
Deputy Minister of Health Luís Maria Ribeiro Freitas Lobato
Minister of Education and Culture Fernando Hanjam
Vice Minister of Education and Culture Lurdes Bessa
Deputy Minister of Education and Culture José António de Jesus das Neves
Minister of State Administration Valentim Ximenes
Deputy Minister of State Administration José Anuno
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment António Conceição
Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industry Jacinto Gusmão
Minister of Social Solidarity Florentina da Conceição Pereira Martins Smith
Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications
Deputy Minister of Public Works Mariano Renato Monteiro da Cruz
Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Inácio Freitas Moreira
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Estanislau da Silva
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Cipriano Esteves Doutel Ferreira
Minister of Tourism and Art
Minister of Petroleum Hernani Filomena Coelho da Silva
Minister of Mineral Resources Mariano Assanami Sabino
Araújo (2015–2017)[15]
Minister Name
Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo
Minister of State Hermenegildo Ágio Pereira
Fernando La Sama de Araújo (Coordinating Minister of Social)
Estanislau da Conceição Aleixo Maria da Silva (Coordinating Minister of Economy)
Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares (Coordinating Minister of State Administration Affairs and Justice)
Presidency of the Council of Ministers Hermenegildo Ágio Pereira
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Hernâni Coelho
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Roberto Sarmento de Oliveira Soares
Minister of Defence Cirilio José Cristóvão
Vice-Minister of Defence N/A
Minister of Interior Longuinhos Monteiro
Vice-Minister of Interior N/A
Minister of Finance Santina Cardoso
Vice-Minister of Finance Hélder Lopes
Minister of Justice Ivo Jorge Valente
Vice-Minister of Justice N/A
Minister of Health Maria do Céu Sarmento
Vice-Minister for Health Ana Isabel Soares [de]
Minister of Education Fernando La Sama de Araújo
Vice-Minister of Education I Dulce Soares [de]
Vice-Minister of Education II Abel da Costa Freitas Ximenes
Minister of State Administration Dionísio da Costa Babo Soares
Vice-Minister of State Administration Tomás do Rosário Cabral
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment António da Conceição
Vice-Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment Constâncio da Conceição Pinto
Minister of Social Solidarity Isabel Amaral Guterres [de]
Vice-Minister of Social Solidarity Miguel Marques Gonçalves Manetelu
Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications Gastão Francisco de Sousa
Vice-Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications I Januário da Costa Pereira
Vice-Minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications II Inácio Moreira
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Estanislau da Conceição Aleixo Maria da Silva
Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Marcos da Cruz
Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture Francisco Kalbuadi Lay
Vice-Minister of Tourism, Art and Culture N/A
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Alfredo Pires
Vice-Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources N/A
Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment Xanana Gusmão
Vice-Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment N/A
Gusmão II (2012-2015)[16]
Minister Name
Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
Vice Prime Minister Fernando La Sama de Araújo
Minister of State Agio Pereira
José Luís Guterres
Presidency of the Council of Ministers Agio Pereira
Minister of Coordinator of Social Affairs Fernando La Sama de Araújo
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Luís Guterres
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Constâncio da Conceição Pinto
Minister of Defence and Security Xanana Gusmão
Vice-Minister of Defence and Security N/A
Minister of Finance Emília Pires
Vice-Minister of Finance Santina Cardoso
Minister of Justice Dionísio Babo Soares
Vice-Minister of Justice Ivo Jorge Valente
Minister of Health Sérgio Lobo
Vice-Minister for Ethnics and Service Delivery Natália de Araújo [de]
Vice-Minister for Management, Support and Resources Maria do Céu Sarmento
Minister of Education Bendito Freitas
Vice-Minister of Basic/Primary Education Dulce Soares [de]
Vice-Minister of Secondary Education Virgílio Simith
Vice-Minister of Higher Education Marçal Avelino Ximenes
Minister of State Administration Jorge Teme
Vice-Minister of State Administration N/A
Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment António da Conceição
Vice-Minister of Commerce, Industry and Environment Abel da Costa Ximenes
Minister of Social Solidarity Isabel Amaral Guterres [de]
Vice-Minister of Social Solidarity Jacinto Rigoberto de Deus
Minister of Public Works Gastão Francisco de Sousa
Vice-Minister of Public Works N/A
Minister of Transport and Communications Pedro Lay
Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications Flávio Cardoso Neves
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Mariano Assanami Sabino
Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Marcos da Cruz
Minister of Tourism Francisco Kalbuadi Lay
Vice-Minister of Tourism N/A
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Alfredo Pires
Vice-Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources N/A
Gusmão I (2007-2012)[17]
Minister Name
Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
Vice Prime Minister José Luís Guterres (Social Affairs)
? (Management and State Administration)
Minister of Defence and Security Xanana Gusmão
Vice-Minister of Defence and Security N/A
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Zacarias da Costa
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation N/A
Minister of Finance Emília Pires
Vice-Minister of Finance Rui Manuel Hajam
Minister of Justice Lúcia Lobato
Vice-Minister of Justice N/A
Minister of Health Nelson Martins
Vice-Minister of Health Madalena Hanjam [de]
Minister of Education João Câncio Freitas
Vice-Minister of Education Paulo Assis Belo
Minister of Internal Administration Arcângelo Leite
Vice-Minister of Internal Administration N/A
Minister of Economy and Development João Gonçalves
Vice-Minister of Economy and Development Cristiano da Costa
Minister of Social Solidarity Maria Domingas Alves
Vice-Minister of Social Solidarity N/A
Minister of Public Works Gastão Francisco de Sousa
Vice-Minister of Public Works N/A
Minister of Infrastructure Pedro Lay
Vice-Minister of Infrastructure José Manuel Carrascalão
Minister of Transport, Communications and Public Works Ovidio D. J. Amaral
Vice-Minister of Transport, Communications and Public Works N/A
Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Mariano Assanami Sabino
Vice-Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries N/A
Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry Gil Alves
Vice-Minister of Tourism, Commerce and Industry N/A
Alkatiri I (2002-2007)[18]
Minister Name
Prime Minister Marí Bim Amude Alkatiri
Vice Prime Minister N/A
Minister of State Anna Pessoa Pinto
Jose Ramos Horta
Vice-Minister of State Olimpio Branco
Presidency of the Council of Ministers Anna Pessoa Pinto
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Ramos Horta
Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Olimpio Branco
Minister of Internal Affairs Rogerio Tiago Lobato
Vice-Minister of Internal Affairs Alcino Baris
Minister of Planning and Finance Maria M. B. Boavida
Vice-Minister of Planning and Finance Aicha Bassarewan
Minister of Justice Domingos Maria Sarmento
Vice-Minister of Justice Manuel Abrantes
Minister of Health Rui Maria de Araujo
Vice-Minister of Health Luis Maria Lobato
Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Armindo Maia
Vice-Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Rosaria Corte-Real
Minister of Internal Administration Anna Pessoa Pinto
Vice-Minister of Internal Administration Ilda M. da Conceicao
Minister of Development and Environment ?
Vice-Minister of Development and Environment Abel Da C. F. Ximenes
Minister of Transport, Communications and Public Works Ovidio D. J. Amaral
Vice-Minister of Transport, Communications and Public Works Arq Cesar V. Moreira
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Estanislau A. da Silva
Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries F. De Sa Benevides

References

  1. ^ Shoesmith, Dennis (March–April 2003). "Timor-Leste: Divided Leadership in a Semi-Presidential System". Asian Survey. Berkeley: University of California Press. 43 (2): 231–252. doi:10.1525/as.2003.43.2.231. ISSN 0004-4687. OCLC 905451085. Archived from the original on 14 April 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2020. The semi-presidential system in the new state of Timor-Leste has institutionalized a political struggle between the president, Xanana Gusmão, and the prime minister, Mari Alkatiri. This has polarized political alliances and threatens the viability of the new state. This paper explains the ideological divisions and the history of rivalry between these two key political actors. The adoption of Marxism by Fretilin in 1977 led to Gusmão's repudiation of the party in the 1980s and his decision to remove Falintil, the guerrilla movement, from Fretilin control. The power struggle between the two leaders is then examined in the transition to independence. This includes an account of the politicization of the defense and police forces and attempts by Minister of Internal Administration Rogério Lobato to use disaffected Falintil veterans as a counterforce to the Gusmão loyalists in the army. The 4 December 2002, Dili riots are explained in the context of this political struggle.
  2. ^ a b Neto, Octávio Amorim; Lobo, Marina Costa (2010). "Between Constitutional Diffusion and Local Politics: Semi-Presidentialism in Portuguese-Speaking Countries" (PDF). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper. Social Science Research Network. SSRN 1644026. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  3. ^ Beuman, Lydia M. (2016). Political Institutions in East Timor: Semi-Presidentialism and Democratisation. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN 978-1317362128. LCCN 2015036590. OCLC 983148216. Archived from the original on 27 March 2023. Retrieved 18 August 2017 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ "Democracy Index 2022: Frontline democracy and the battle for Ukraine" (PDF). Economist Intelligence Unit. 2023. Retrieved 9 February 2023.
  5. ^ "Timor-Leste passes bill to protect constitution". UCA News. 17 May 2022.
  6. ^ "Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor)". US department of state.
  7. ^ "East Timor profile - Timeline". BBC News. 26 February 2018. Archived from the original on 31 May 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  8. ^ "East Timor votes in second general election in 10 months". Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  9. ^ Cruz, Nelson de la (22 June 2018). "New East Timor PM pledges to bring unity after political deadlock". Reuters. Archived from the original on 2 June 2021. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Timor-Leste presidential election: José Ramos-Horta wins in landslide". the Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 20 April 2022. Archived from the original on 21 April 2022. Retrieved 20 July 2022.
  11. ^ "East Timor's opposition party wins most seats in parliamentary election". AP News. 23 May 2023. Retrieved 11 July 2023.
  12. ^ "Setór Justisa Planu Estratéjiku ba Timor-Leste 2011-2030" (PDF). Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste. 2010. Archived (PDF) from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  13. ^ "Ruak". Archived from the original on 9 December 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Alkatiri II". Archived from the original on 17 September 2017. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
  15. ^ [1] Archived 16 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine Araújo
  16. ^ [2] Archived 20 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine Gusmão II
  17. ^ [3] Archived 27 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Gusmão I
  18. ^ [4] Archived 20 February 2015 at the Wayback Machine Alkatiri

Further reading