Timor-Leste: Government reshuffle response to challenges of economic, social recovery – PM

The Timorese Prime Minister said on Tuesday that the government reshuffle is intended to respond to the new context of the country and to the challenges of economic and social recovery, with the growing post-pandemic normality.

These changes “require an adjustment of the Government structure more adapted to the internal and external situation, in order to take advantage of the new opportunities of this more positive phase of national development”, said Taur Matan Ruak. 

In his speech after the inauguration of four new members of the executive, at the Presidential Palace, the Prime Minister said this is a “more promising phase that demands renewed focus, internal alignment and cohesion of efforts in the area of justice, finance, public works and National Liberation Fighters Affairs.”

Former People’s Liberation Party (PLP) MP Abel Pires was sworn in as Minister of Public Works, replacing Salvador Pires from the same party, while legal advisor Tiago Sarmento took over the Justice portfolio, replacing Manuel Cáceres da Costa, who resigned.

The current director-general for external cooperation, António Freitas, took over the post of deputy finance minister, held by Sara Brites, who was asked to resign by the prime minister.

Finally, Loro Mesak, an Ainaro veteran, replaced Gil da Costa Monteiro (Oan Soru) as Secretary of State for Former National Liberation Combatant Affairs.

“Four fundamental areas of governance for us to be able to accelerate the good pace of judicial reforms and of the management of public finances, as well as in the volume and intensity of the execution of public works to be developed on the ground,” he said.

At stake is what he considered to be an “intense volume of works” for the reconstruction of infrastructures damaged by last year’s floods, and the economic recovery plan, in the framework of the pandemic, focused on the areas of health, education, professional training, connectivity and civil protection that the Government wants to “enhance for the coming months”.

Although implemented in the last year of the mandate, the change in the Government shows the will of the executive to “do more and better, reaching better results in the goals and objectives of sustainable development”, underlined the Timorese Prime Minister.

The Government reshuffle also happens when the executive is starting a new cycle of Planning and Budgeting for 2023, which will be “more demanding in the identification and achievement of indicative goals, objectives and priorities that evaluate the indices of healthier and sustained human wellbeing and development,” he added.

“Better levels of capacity building and knowledge of our human resources, for the fulfilment of the great national design of transforming Timor-Leste into a modern, prosperous and safe country with fairer, more equitable and dignified income standards,” he said.