East Timor should form anti-graft commission: President
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Last Updated: Saturday, November 28, 2009, 12:42
  
Dili: East Timor should form its anti-corruption commission soon to support the economy and maintain people's trust in the half-island nation, President Jose Ramos-Horta said on Saturday.

The Nobel laureate said at a military event that fighting graft was an important step and part of a national interest.

"There has been an initiative from the government to form an anti-corruption commission," Ramos-Horta said.

"We have to fight against illegal action in order to maintain trust from our economic agents and the public," he said.

"But it's urgent for the government to quickly nominate the high commissioners for the anti-corruption commission. Trust is very expensive and fragile," he said.

East Timor has been rocked by several corruption scandals this year.

A report in July by the nation's Ombudsman alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres had abused his power by securing a United Nations job for his wife in which she was overpaid by thousands of dollars.

In August, opposition Fretilin party lawmakers called for Justice Minister Lucia Lobato and Finance Minister Emilia Pires to be sacked after ombudsman reported alleged abuse of power by the pair over government projects.

East Timor won formal independence in 2002, three years after a UN-backed referendum that saw an overwhelming vote to break away from Indonesia's 24-year occupation of the country.

Despite massive natural gas deposits, East Timor's largely rural population is among the world's poorest.

Bureau Report


First Published: Saturday, November 28, 2009, 12:42


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