Vote for FRETILIN!
2007 Parliamentary Elections
"From the people, with the people and for the people"
3 June 2007
Only FRETILIN can guarantee economic sovereignty
FRETILIN General Secretary Mari Alkatiri today challenged the FRETILIN
government's critics to explain what concrete policies they had to
match his party's strategy to defend Timor-Leste's economic
sovereignty and provide strong economic management.
Dr Alkatiri said that when FRETILIN came to office five years ago it
inherited an economy in total disarray.
"Since 2002, we have built the foundations for Timor-Leste's economic
independence. Now our critics say they can do better. We encourage
them to explain to the people exactly how their policies will preserve
our independence and create an equal and prosperous society," he said.
Dr Alkatiri, who attracted strong criticism from Australia for his
tough stand in the Timor Sea oil negotiations, is number two on
FRETILIN's ticket for the parliamentary elections to be held on 30
June 2007. Dr Alkatiri's skill as an administrator during his time as
PM was acknowledged even by his harshest critics. He is
widely-credited with being the architect of Timor-Leste's strongly
nationalist economic policy.
"We live in a competitive globalised world," Dr Alkatiri continued.
"Many countries who fought hard for their independence are now losing
it, because they failed to control their economy. We see many
countries in our region losing control of their land, their natural
resources, and even their labour force, which is being forced to
emigrate to find work in other places. Small countries like
Timor-Leste are especially vulnerable."
Dr Alkatiri pointed to some of the main FRETILIN achievements.
"Everyone knows that we won a better oil and gas deal than the
Australian government wanted to give us. We have built a management
regime for the oil revenue which will guarantee our independence for
"We refused to borrow money, because we knew how some foreign powers
have used loans to control the policies of the borrowing countries. We
built a strong regime to control foreign investment, and to prevent us
losing control of our vital assets, including our land.
"More recently, we completed planning for a program of accelerated
national development, to build our road network, our electricity
network, our water supply systems and our workforce."
"The opposition parties did not and still have not proposed detailed
alternatives to our strategy," said Dr Alkatiri.
"This is because they have no policies to guarantee protection of our
vital assets. Our recently-elected President is now claiming that he
has better poverty reduction ideas which FRETILIN prevented him from
implementing when he was Prime Minister. This too is careless talk.
Let us not forget that he was a member of our government which made
these policies; he sat at the Council of Ministers meetings when we
debated them. Did he propose alternatives?"
Alkatiri continued: "Our ex-President alleges we used our cars and our
positions only to enrich ourselves. People say things like this in
elections campaigns. It is easy to be a demagogue at a rally. We all
learned these skills in our resistance struggle.
"A different kind of leadership is needed for the complex tasks of
economic management. Our leaders all need to learn these new things,
economic and financial management whether in government or opposition.
"We should not depend on foreign experts to run our country. Yes, we
need and appreciate expert technical assistance from internationals
but Timorese must be in charge and must know how to do this.
"Debate is good for democracy. We challenge every opposition party to
debate us on the economic management of Timor-Leste. Let the people
decide who is best-equipped to defend our economic independence in the
new conditions of the 21st century.
"We all owe it to all our sisters and brothers who died for our
independence to get this right. If we do not get our economic policy
right, foreign interests will use their money to take from us what our
martyrs fought and died for."
For more information, please contact:
Jose Teixeira (+670) 728 7080 or firstname.lastname@example.org