Francisco Guterres Lu Olo for President
“I shall be a President of all and for all”
6 May 2007
Address from Presidential Candidate (translation)
We have called this Press Conference to speak with you one last time about the choices that people must make next Wednesday when they vote.
My opponent presents himself as a defender of the poor, and attacks FRETILIN for not looking after the poor and vulnerable. My reply is simple. I urge the voters to study the evidence.
Last week and next week, Minister for Agriculture Forests and Fisheries, Estanislau Da Silva, one of FRETILIN’s leaders, is authorising the first payments to sucos from the Community Development Fund.
Every single suco in Timor Leste is entitled to direct financial assistance of up to US $10000.
This program was initiated by the government of Dr Alkatiri, to implement FRETILIN policy. It passed through the Parliament of which I am President, by unanimous vote.
The money goes to the people at a grass roots level, for sustainable projects in agricultural development. This money only became available in this years budget because of the Petroleum fund. This money is being distributed through proper institutional channels, not thrown around like gifts from the rich to the poor. This money belongs to the people. Development is the peoples right. This is not charity, like giving away blankets that come from foreign powers. This is transferring funds legally and constitutionally, according to the rights that our people have under the Constitution I steered through the Constituent Assembly. This is the peoples own resources going back to the people. This is ukun rasik a’an - standing up for what we fought for in the mountains, in the clandestine movement, in the diplomatic front. This is real nationalism, real independence.
What other evidence do I want the voters to consider when they make their choice next Wednesday?
I have just mentioned the Petroleum Fund. Without FRETILIN, Timor-Leste would have no Petroleum Fund. I call on voters not to throw away the work of five years to secure Maubere sovereignty, our Maubere future, on empty promises from people who have no proven record.
These are insecure times. I ask the voters to trust me to make sure the work is completed, based on my record since 1975
I want the voters to consider the rights and needs of the most vulnerable. Who, as President will do the best job for our veterans, our women, and our young people?
FRETILIN’s record is good. We have passed laws and established programs to get resources to these groups.
But I will also take some new initiatives.
Yesterday, in the Parque de Borge da Costa, I made a commitment. I said that, as your President, I will devote my time to working for the grass roots people who lost family members, the widows and the sons and daughters of the men and women who died for our independence. I am talking about the grassroots people who have not yet been recognised.
We have already passed laws to assist the veterans of FALANTIL and the clandestine movement. But we must increase our help to the widows and the sons and daughters of those who died.
I will devote my time to establish a mechanism to help these people too.
In particular the Office of Women and Youth that I have promised to establish will work on this issue.
I will make sure that you have a President who the people can come and talk to. I promise to meet with members from the community regularly. I will listen to your views and needs. I will visit you regularly to see if the National Development Plan and the Government’s Budget is being followed in the right way. I will be your advocate with the other organs of sovereignty, with the Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
I will be a President of all, and for all.
Thank you. I wish everyone a democratic, safe and peaceful election.
For more information contact:
Harold Moucho (Lu Olo’s political adviser) (+670) 723 0048 (Dili)
Jose Manuel Fernandes (Lu Olo’s official election representative) (+670) 734 2174 (Dili)