Subject: East Timor press headlines/10April2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Tuesday 10 April 2001

1. Manuel Carrascalao, The New NC President 
2. Ramos Horta Entered NC On His Own Request 
3. Avelino: Ramos Horta Showed Political Maturity 
4. ASSET President: I Have No Right To Close Down Foreign Salons

1. Manuel Carrascalao, The New NC President (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

The National Council yesterday elected Manuel Viegas Carrascalao as the new president, replacing Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao who resigned on 29 March.

The former member of the People’s Assembly of Timor Timur, under Indonesian rule, was chosen to be president in a National Council sitting chaired by Milena Pires.

Before the voting began, the NC heard opinions from its members. There were differing opinions. Some felt that the election should be postponed till UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello was back in the country. Others felt the voting should go ahead.

NC member Maria Odete moved a motion calling for the elections to be postponed for two or three weeks in order for Sergio de Mello to clarify matters with regard to his nomination of Jose Ramos Horta. NC member Avelino Coelho in supporting the motion said that a clarification was needed. He added that Sergio’s nomination of Ramos Horta, to replace Xanana as president, was not made in consultation with the National Council.

Later, a large number of NC members rejected the motion and asked the session’s chairperson to carry on with the voting.

Chairperson Milena Pires than put the issue to the vote. Eleven members were in favor of postponing the vote and 13 wanted the election of the NC president to go on, with two absentations.

The National Council then proceeded to elect the president.

Thirteen votes were for Manuel Carrascalao and 13 others were for Jose Ramos Horta, with one abstaining vote.

The floor then asked chairperson Milena Pires, to break for ten minutes, for a second vote to be conducted. When the second vote was being conducted, Ramos Horta stood up and said he was withdrawing from the presidency.

Because of being the sole candidate remaining, Manuel Carrascalao was made the new president of the NC, replacing Xanana Gusmao.

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2. Ramos Horta Entered NC On His Own Request (Suara Timor Lorosae, Font Page second lead)

The Vice President of CNRT/CN Jose Ramos Horta said yesterday that his decision to be a member of the National Council was made on his own accord and received the support of UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello.

“I decided to enter the NC after consultations with Sergio de Mello, Xanana Gusmao and both the Timorese and internationals in the ETTA Cabinet,” he told journalists.

He said it was not Sergio de Mello’s intention to nominate him to the NC.

“Sergio just supported my decision after I had consulted with all parties,” said Ramos Horta.

On Xanana’s resignation, Ramos Horta said the former NC president had stated everything in his letter to the chambers.

“Now it is up to the National Council, in accordance with its rules and regulations, to choose the new president,” said Ramos Horta.

Ramos Horta stressed that the National Council must not be seen as a body in opposition with UNTAET, but more as a consultative body with responsibilities.

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3. Avelino: Ramos Horta Showed Political Maturity (Timor Post, Front Page second lead) 

The decision of Jose Ramos Horta to withdraw himself from the race of the NC presidency, is a clear indication of his political maturity. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Avelino Coelho also said Ramos Horta respected his friends and colleagues.

Avelino said Ramos Horta, as a member of the National Council, was an important individual who could improve the country’s political process.

Avelino said the National Council would request UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello to reinstate Ramos Horta in his original position as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“This ministry portfolio is very important for the country. Ramos Horta has got the qualifications and the skills to lead the ministry again,” added Avelino.

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4. ASSET President: I Have No Right To Close Down Foreign Salons (Suara Timor Lorosae, Page 4 lead) 

The President of ASSET Timor Lorosae, Oscar Lima, said his organization had no right to either close foreign salons or prevent them from operating in the country. He said that was the responsibility of UNTAET.

Oscar said several Timorese activists had come to his office demanding that ASSET close down these foreign-owned businesses.

“That is not our job,” stressed Oscar. “ASSET brings together foreign and local business,” he said.

“We had already spoken to the Sakura Salon owners in Audian and we advised them to work together with the local salons in the area,” said Oscar.

“ASSET is not a district administrator and if anyone wants to close down a business, please see the transitional administration. Don’t come to us,” he said.

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