Subject: LUSA: Bishop Belo Suggests 'Selfish' Legislators Resign

28 Jun 01 12:29 East Timor: Bishop Belo Suggests 'Selfish' Legislators Resign

East Timor's spiritual leader, Catholic Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, Thursday blasted the "bad example" given by the territory's transitional legislators in asking that parliamentary aid be divided amongst them, suggesting that they resign.

"It would be better for these gentlemen, who are thinking in this manner, to simply resign", Bishop Belo, a Nobel Peace laureate, told Lusa in Dili.

"It is a bad example", he added. "They are representatives of the people, who are poor, have no homes, live under tarpaulins and scorched tin, without money. They should ask that this money be given to the poor, not divided amongst themselves".

The bishop underlined that the legislators' "selfish" initiative would be understood as a "very negative sign" by international donors backing East Timor's reconstruction and transition to independence.

The 32-member legislature, or National Council, which ceases its functions on July 15, formally asked the transition cabinet Wednesday that euros 150,000 provided by Portugal's parliament be shared out among them as recompense for their non-elected work.

SAS -Lusa-

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