14 March 2012

Where do the Candidates Stand on the Issues?

Nearly two weeks ago, La’o Hamutuk circulated a questionnaire to all the Presidential candidates and their campaigns, asking for their views on issues important to the future of Timor-Leste.  Although several candidates or “Teams Success” told us they would respond, in the end, we did not get any answer other than printed campaign brochures. However, many candidates spoke about these topics as they campaigned around the country.

We had planned to tabulate the candidates’ responses to inform the voters, but the lack of response makes this impossible. However, we translated our questionnaire and hope that it will help focus voters’ decisions on issues, and perhaps inform the Presidential Second Round and Parliamentary elections.

Last week, La’o Hamutuk briefed journalists and others on many of these topics. Download the briefing (in English) here.
  1. Parliament recently approved a Land Law, but this law does not respect the rights of little and poor people to access land. How will you protect people’s rights?
  2. Since 2011, the Government has evicted many people. What do you think the State should do before evicting someone? What can you do to ensure good lives for vulnerable people forced to move by the development process? Do you think that non-economic (spiritual, cultural, environmental) values are as important as economic values?
  3. Many people in Timor-Leste find it hard to sustain their lives. How can the President reduce poverty in Timor-Leste?
  4. Today, Timor-Leste depends on imports. How do you think we can increase local production to reduce import dependency?
  5. Nearly 80% of Timorese people live by agriculture. What can be done to strengthen the agricultural economy?
  6. Perpetrators of crimes against humanity during the Indonesian occupation live freely with impunity. What do you think about this?
  7. How can Timor-Leste find the balance between diplomacy with Indonesia and the legal obligation to achieve accountability for 1975-1999 crimes? What is the President’s responsibility for truth, justice and accountability? How will you use your power to grant pardons and clemency?
  8. Timor-Leste has not signed and ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. Do you think Timor-Leste should join this Convention?
  9. The CAVR Chega! Report, Indonesian KPP-HAM, and UN Commission of Experts all recommended that the UN should create an international tribunal to try past crimes if Indonesian and Timorese processes are unable to. How can you advance the implementation of these recommendations?
  10. Bayu Undan and Kitan will be empty in 12 years. How can Timor-Leste emerge from dependency on exporting oil and gas?
  11. In every year since 2009, our Government has spent more money from the Petroleum Fund than the Estimated Sustainable Income. What do you think about this?
  12. There’s a loud debate about the development of the Greater Sunrise gas field. What are your thoughts about bringing the Sunrise pipeline to the South Coast? How can you help resolve Timor-Leste’s maritime boundaries with Australia and Indonesia?
  13. Timor-Leste is giving priority to the petroleum industry on the South Coast, rather than investing in agriculture, light industry and other sustainable sectors. Do you think this is good for our country’s future?
  14. Timor-Leste invests less in education and health than other nations. Do you think Timor-Leste should give more priority to human resources?
  15. Timor-Leste plans to borrow money from international lenders. What do you think about this?
We think every Timor-Leste citizen deserves to have their leaders answer these questions. Don't you?

1 comment:

  1. All excellent questions! Too bad the candidates couldn't address these issues in a more meaningful way.