Premium Twelfths and non-appointment of members of the Timorese Government make the job difficult.

The fact that East-Timor is beginning the year in twelfths and is still without the nomination of about a dozen members of the Government by the President, creates a scenario that is "not ideal" for governance, said one of the Timorese ministers today.

"It's not an ideal scenario". In an ideal scenario, the government would have all the members, but at the moment we do not have them yet and we are still waiting for other appointments, among which are nine ministers", Fidelis Magalhães, Minister of Legislative Reform, told Lusa.

"And having to resort once again to the twelfths regime is also not an ideal context for government action, which has certain legal limitations in terms of its financial capacity", he said.

This is a scenario, he said, that the government expects to last only for January - until the General State Budget (GSB) of 2019 is promulgated by the President of the Republic - but that is "having consequences in the development and economic growth East-Timor"

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East-Timor has been in a scenario of great political tension since 2017. The country was forced to hold early elections in 2018, after the dissolution of the parliament elected in the previous year and the fall of the minority government led by Fretilin.

The Alliance for Change for Progress (AMP), a coalition of three political forces - CNRT, PLP and KHUNTO - obtained an absolute majority in this early election.

Despite this majority, the Government's action has been conditioned in part by the fact that Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo has not nominate several members of the Government, proposed by the prime minister, for having "their names identified in the competent judicial bodies" or by having "a controversial ethical profile"

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A situation that has increased the tension between the Government and its benches in Parliament, and the President, and that can grow if the Head of State vetoes the General State Budget.

The whole political situation has provoked a strong contraction in the economy, with companies shutting down their activities, businessmen complaining about not receiving from the state - and there are estimates of hundreds of millions of dollars in debt - and delays in several big projects.

"The vast majority of fiscal resources come from the General Budget and the state coffers. We hope this will end as soon as possible and that the twelfths regime will be applied only this month", said Magalhães.

"If it's only for a month, we'll have General State Budget in February. And I would say that economic life would return to normal, resuming the pace of growth", he said.

In the meantime, the Timorese Government has started to analyze a set of conceptual notes on the three axes of the current reform: judicial, legislative and administrative innovation.

The conceptual notes, presented at today's meeting of the Council of Ministers by Fidelis Magalhães, are, for now, an outline of "transversal" and "integrated" documents that count on the contribution of various sectors of Government and that will now be finished.

"We want to promote administrative innovation and link the three areas of reform, in a broad context of maintaining the interconnection between this process, in order to modernize the State," he explained.

The conceptual notes should now be transformed into resolutions and return to the Council of Ministers.

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