Monday is going to be interesting here in Timor-Leste. The censure motion submitted by opposition Fretilin and Kota lawmakers is going to be debated. The no-confidence motion was tabled in protest of of the government's stance on the release of Indo former militia leader Maternus Bere.
Fretilin has threatened to pull its lawmakers out of parliament of the motion isn't passed. Depending on how you interpret the Constitution, this could bring parliament to a halt. The debate will be broadcast live on national television and radio. It's fair to say that all eyes will be on this. I just hope it gets enough time in parliament for some real discussion to develop.
I imagine Fretilin will go all out on this one. This is their "issue", so to speak. The Kota lawmakers will follow suit and I get the feeling that Fernanda Borges will also be stepping up, once again.
So, on Monday, we should find out:
- which coalition lawmakers are going to side with the government and which are going to take a stand for justice;
- if the censure motion will be passed or not;
- whether Fretilin will go through with pulling its lawmaker out of parliament, if the motion doesn't go through; and
- what the government's stance on the Bere matter is, given how much negative attention it has received from all over the world.
I'm just an observer here. I've only lived in Timor-Leste for a year, so I don't have the understanding of the country like the Charlie Scheiners or the John Millers of this world, but I have at least a vague grasp of what's going on.
Everything seems to suggest that Ramos-Horta and Xanana just didn't appreciate what they were getting into with the Bere saga. They can't have done. Bere is still in the Indo embassy six weeks on.
My understanding is that Bere was supposed to leave on August 30. This was the deal struck with the Indonesians, so to speak. It didn't take long for the situation to get very messy.
It's as if no-one is willing to act next. The longer this goes on, the worse it becomes. Roll on Monday.