Mari Alkatiri To Be Next Prime Minister of Timor-Leste Featured

By Jacinto Xavier September 15, 2017 3023
Alkatiri Alkatiri

DILI – Veteran political figure Mari Alkatiri will be the next Prime Minister of Timor-Leste, after he was voted leader of the country’s coalition government.

The 67-year old was the first Prime Minister of newly independent Timor-Leste, serving from May 2002 to 26 June 2006 when he resigned following weeks of political unrest.

The decision to elect the Secretary General of the Fretilin Party came more than a month after the country’s parliamentary election, with lengthy negotiations between new coalition of Fretilin, Democratic Party and Khunto Party confirming the appointment Tuesday morning.

Speaking publicly after the announcement, Alkatiri said he would be Prime Minister “to all people” promising to reform government structures.

He said he would cut out the vice Prime Minister role and establish a Minister of Coordinator position to streamline government decisions.

Alkatiri, a Muslim, was born in Dili, in November 1949 to Yemeni settlers.

In 1970 he joined the Movement for the Liberation of Timor-Leste, launching his own political career five years later when appointed politics minister by Fretilin party shortly before Indonesia’s 1975 invasion.

Days after the invasion Alkatiri left Timor-Leste, to live in exile in Mozambique where he stayed for much of Indonesia’s 24-year rule. It is Mozambique where many commentators say his political approach, including influence of Marxism was honed.

 

An official announcement from Francisco Guterres, the President of Timor-Leste of the appointment is expected in the coming days. 

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