Subject: Lusa: 2004 should be year of 'stability', Gusmão challenges

22-12-2003 18:51:00 GMT . Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-5703670 Temas:

2004 should be year of 'stability', Gusmão challenges legislature

Dili, Dec. 22 (Lusa) - President Xanana Gusmão challenged East Timor's parliament Monday to make 2004 "the year of stability" for the newly independent nation.

Gusmão, addressing parliament to mark the end of its first session, called on the lawmakers to give priority to approving laws regulating local power structures and the civil service, along with the creation of a Council of State and a High Defense Council.

Though now independent, Gusmão said the Timorese state remained "weak" and in need of consolidation.

Democratic practice was also marred, the president added, saying it was serving as "an instrument of pure criticism" for the opposition, while the governing FRETILIN party made "too much use" of its wide majority to do whatever it pleased.


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