[QODLink]
Archive
East Timor PM keeps position
East Timor's ruling party has decided to keep Mari Alkatiri as prime minister despite calls by Xanamo Gusmao, the president, for him to step down.
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2006 12:27 GMT
Protesters in the capital, Dili, demanded the PM step down
East Timor's ruling party has decided to keep Mari Alkatiri as prime minister despite calls by Xanamo Gusmao, the president, for him to step down.

The ruling Fretilin party, which met in emergency session on Sunday, said Alkatiri had accepted the unanimous appeal of its committee not to resign.

The decision prompted the resignation of Jose Ramos-Horta, the country’s defence and foreign affairs minister.

"I decided to resign from the government until a new government is established," Ramos-Horta said through his spokesman. "I am ready to serve this nation in whatever position."

Ramos-Horta won a Nobel peace prize in 1996 for his nonviolent resistance to Indonesian rule.

Ovideo Amaral, the transport minister, also handed in his resignation, Portuguese news agency Lusa reported.

Fretilin have said they will now seek to "hold a dialogue with the president." Fransisco "Lu'olo" Guterres, chairman of the party, said they would seek the help of the Catholic Church to solve the crisis and called for a "meeting with political parties and non-governmental organisations to seek a final solution."

Weapons allegations

Guterres said Fretilin, "also asked that investigations be conducted into the illegal distribution of weapons and verify all allegations and accusations of the involvement of members and militants from Fretilin."

Gusmao demanded last week that Alkatiri step down after seeing an Australian documentary which alleged to have evidence that he had assented to have a hit squad armed and tasked with killing his rivals.

President Xanamo Gusmao called
on the prime minister to resign

Rogerio Lobato, the former interior minister, has been charged  with distributing the weapons. But East Timor's independent prosecutor-general, who is conducting a UN-backed investigation, has  said he does not have any evidence implicating Alkatiri.

The prime minister has repeatedly denied the allegations and refused to step down.

Calls for Guterre's resignation began mounting after violence in the capital, Dili, in late May which led to 21 deaths and more than 2,200 foreign peacekeepers being brought in. The unrest began after Alkatiri sacked some 600 deserting soldiers in March.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.