Dili, 22 October 2010
Parliament votes to condemn Gusmao Government’s incompetence in electricity sector
Timor-Leste's National Parliament on Tuesday October 19 voted to condemn the government’s “inaction” and “incapacity” to manage electricity generation and supply, and demanding wide ranging and detailed audits of its management of the power sector over the last three years. Parliament reflected unprecedented prolonged and persistent public outrage with the country’s regular and prolonged power cuts.
Speaking in Dili today, FRETILIN MP and former Minister Inacio Moreira said that the unprecedented support which the FRETILIN-proposed resolution received from all parties sitting in the National Parliament, reflected the concern and frustration that MPs from all parties shared with the public due to the parlous state of Dili’s electricity.
“The passing of the resolution shows how the Gusmao de facto government has failed in its management of the power sector, even in the eyes of the AMP parties. Despite huge electricity budgets - USD$219.9 million over three and a half years, and US$83.2 million this year alone - representing tenfold the annual budgets when we were in government, the situation has gone from bad to worse. Even the majority of the government’s MPs can see this and voted to support our resolution, which seeks to audit the management of the electricity sector and try to urgently find solutions to the problems that currently plague it,” said Mr Moreia.
"We are not prepared to do what the de facto Prime Minister has been doing, which is to ignore the problems and leave the Minister for Infrastructure, Pedro Lay and his Secretary of State for Electricity, Water and Urbanization, Januario Pereira in their posts, despite clear evidence that it has been their mismanagement and incompetence that has resulted in these problems in the power sector.
“MPs from Mr Gusmao’s own party have openly conceded that these two ministers are part of the problem and can offer no solutions,” said Moreira.
The preamble detailed the fundamental reasons for the FRETILIN proposal, which followed an urgency debate on the state of the electricity sector in the parliament on 5 October:
In the face of worsening occurrence of repeated and prolonged disruptions in the supply of electricity and the growing number of damages suffered by the population as a result of same;
Considering the passivity of the government and the absence of urgent measures to secure the basic needs of the population and quality of the supply of electrical energy;
Considering in particular the total incapacity demonstrated by the Minister for Infrastructure and Secretary of State for Electricity, Water and Urbanization to solve the problem;
The resolution calls on the government to deliver “the results of an independent and detailed audit” to the National Parliament on or before 31 March 2011.
“We urge the government to heed the calls of parliament to seek out the cause of the problems plaguing Timor-Leste’s electricity sector and open the way for all parties in the national parliament to work together to find the solutions which it has been unable or unwilling to find on its own. This is matter of national interest and we hope the government treats it in that spirit. We cannot keep throwing money about without improvements in the continuity and quality of electricity supply, because it is affecting the development of our economy and a loss of faith by our people in the ability of government to deliver services,” Moreira warned.
For further information please contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080