Subject: Lusa: Revamped gov't to be unveiled 'within days', says PM Alkatiri

East Timor: Revamped gov't to be unveiled 'within days', says PM Alkatiri

Dili, July 1 (Lusa) - A new and enlarged government in East Timor and the first rotation of Dili`s overseas diplomatic corps will be announced "within days", says Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

In comments to Lusa Thursday, Alkatiri said he was still holding contacts over the creation of the new executive, due to be unveiled this month with the main aim of decentralizing power in the new nation.

Alkatiri said he would prefer the announcement of the new government - with a state secretary for each of Timor's five regions - to be made after the vote in the Dili Parliament July 11 on his government`s budget plans.

However, he said that he still needed to discuss with the Dili Finance Ministry the cost implications of announcing the new government either before or after the budget vote.

Alkatiri originally outlined plans for Dili's revamped executive in May, saying the shakeup was part of his governmetn's efforts to decentralize power and streamline the administration of the new nation to meet targets for its National Development Plan.

Dili's prime minister told Lusa recently that it was proving "very difficult" to decentralize Timor's administration.

The five new state secretaries for each of Timor's regions will coordinate grass-roots development, particularly investment programs to be regionally implemented, Alkatiri said.

The new and enlarged executive, with some ministries being split into two, had originally been due to take office July 1.

Dili's government rejig will also be accompanied by the first rotation of Timor's foreign-based diplomats since independence in 2002.

As part of the reinforcement of Timor's overseas diplomatic presence, new embassies are being opened in Japan and Thailand. New Consulate Generals will also be created in Macau, Sydney and Manila.

EL/CJB.

Lusa


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