DILI, 07 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The manual voting system on 28 october for the period 2023 to 2030 hampered the elections for Village Assemblies and Suco Councils, resulting in considerable delays.
MPs from the opposition parties, namely KHUNTO and FRETILIN, criticized the delays in electing village assemblies and village councils. Both parties therefore asked the government to resubmit to the Council of Ministers a draft decree-law to amend the Suco Law No. 9/2016 of 8 July. And the government agreed to amend the law.
António Verdial, a member of KHUNTO said that the government needs to resubmit a draft decree-law to the Council of Ministers to amend Suco Law No. 9/2016 of 8 July so that electoral bodies can carry out civic education on this law in order to not repeat the same problem in the upcoming elections.
FRETILIN’s MP António Clau said that the disorganization of the Sucos elections worried everyone, saying that, for example, in Bairro de Lurumata, in village 03 of Fatuhada village, the elections started at 9am and ended at 1am, which he considered to be a failure: “Therefore, I recommended that the government present a draft decree-law to amend the Suco Law.”
The Minister of State Administration, Tomás Cabral, following his clarification in the National Parliament regarding some failures during the Village Leaders’ Elections, said that the government had agreed with the National Parliament to amend the Suco Law no. 9/2016, of 8 July, to improve the process of community elections next year.
“I recognized that the whole population is concerned about the community elections process. The Suco Law was approved in 2016 by the three political parties, FRETILIN, CNRT, and PD in the National Parliament. The law excluded the government’s competencies in the process of the suco elections, leaving the competence only to the polling stations of each suco,” he clarified.
Cabral said that the 2016 Suco Law did not allow the Technical Secretariat for Electoral Administration (STAE) to provide the voters’ data and use indelible ink, instead of implementing only the manual system where, for example, officials write the names of voters by hand, a circumstance that made it difficult for the community elections to run smoothly.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins