Subject: ABC News: Gusmao corruption scandal not my business: Ramos-Hort

June 26, 2009

ABC News

Gusmao corruption scandal not my business: Ramos-Horta

26 June 2009

East Timor's President Jose Ramos Horta has distanced himself from a scandal involving the country's Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao signed-off on a multi-million dollar Government contract to a company in which his daughter was a major shareholder.

The ABC can confirm Zenilda Gusmao is listed as a Prima Food shareholder in East Timor's 2008 business registry.

Last year, Prima Food won a Government contract to supply rice worth $US3.5 million ($4.3 million).

President Jose Ramos-Horta says it is not his business to intervene.

"In our political system, the President does not have executive authority. I cannot everyday interfere in the running of the country," he said.

"If that's what I want to do, I might as well run for Prime Minister. That is the responsibility of the Prime Minister."

The Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao is unavailable for comment.

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