Subject: LUSA: Constituent Assembly Elects Deputy Speakers

18 Sep 01 13:58 East Timor: Constituent Assembly Elects Deputy Speakers

East Timor's new parliament convened Tuesday for its second session to choose deputy speakers, following Monday's election of Fretilin party leader Francisco Guterres (Lu-Olo) as speaker.

Proceedings were interrupted for several minutes due to an earth tremor, which was felt throughout East Timor. When the session continued, the two deputy speakers were elected.

The assembly's largest bloc, Fretilin (control[l]ing 55 of the 88 seats) voted tactically to choose members of the smaller ASDT (Timorese Social Democratic Association) and PDC, rather than let the deputy speaker posts fall into the hands of the PD (Democratic Party) and PSD (Social Democratic Party).

Francisco Xavier do Amaral of the ASDT and Arlindo Marçal of the PDC were thus appointed as the two deputies to assist speaker Lu-Olo in overseeing debate in East Timor's Constituent Assembly, whose members took office last Saturday.

The assembly has until the end of the year to draft the fledgling nations's [sic] new constitution ahead of full independence, likely in the first half of 2002.

Fretilin is short of the minimum needed to approve legislation and must consequently work in partnership with other parties.

CJB -Lusa-

© 1997 Lusa Comentários e Sugestões para Agência Lusa

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