FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
6 May 2007
Tell us what you own, Mr Ramos Horta
Jose Ramos Horta must stop trying to evade questions about his pecuniary interests, José Manuel Fernandes, official election representative for FRETILIN presidential candidate Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, said today.
“Jose Ramos Horta continues to evade the important question put to him by representatives of civil society and voters during this election campaign regarding a full and frank disclosure of his pecuniary interests,” Fernandes said.
“Lu Olo made public a signed declaration detailing all his interests, but Ramos Horta refuses to provide a written declaration and hides behind the absence of legislation requiring him do so.
“It is easy to provide a written declaration and he should do it, just as Lu Olo did.
“Lu Olo declared his pecuniary interests 12 days ago. Are Ramos Horta’s pecuniary interests so extensive and complicated that he needs 12 days to write them down?
“It seems Ramos Horta needs to be compelled by law in order to be transparent and honest with our people.”
Fernandes said gaining the trust of the people was crucial to Fretilin clandestine operations during the independence struggle. “We succeeded in winning the trust of our people to the extent that they never gave us up to an enemy with superior funds and military means. Lu Olo survived 24 years of armed resistance on this relationship of absolute trust with our people.
“An environment of real trust is built between people – not just because the state requires it by law.
“I call on Ramos Horta to conduct himself in a transparent and open manner which will set a precedent for future candidates in our young democracy.
“Every time he is asked about his pecuniary interests, Ramos Horta creates a diversion and speaks about other issues. Now he says he will provide a signed declaration of pecuniary interests only if regulated by law, and audited by a regulatory authority.
“This shows a gross misunderstanding of the function and nature of a pecuniary interest declaration. I have seen pecuniary interest declarations in other countries. To say they have to be audited is putting up a smokescreen.”
Fernandes pointed to the Australian state government of Victoria’s “Declaration of pecuniary interests for senior government officers and statutory appointees” (copy attached) which makes no requirement for audited statements or accounts.
Fernandes said Ramos Horta had put up another smokescreen by peddling a lie that Lu Olo owns a US$700,000 “villa” in Ossu.
“Anyone who sees the Lu Olo family’s humble home, would agree it is nonsense to describe it as a villa.
“It is unpainted, has outside amenities, no doors on internal rooms and is about half the size of Ramos Horta’s luxurious villa in Dili,” said Fernandes.
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)