The First Government of RDTL


On 28 November 1975, Fretilin made a unilateral declaration of Timor Leste’s independence from the Portuguese colonization (http://amrtimor.org/crono/index_por_ano.php?ano=1975).  In dejure, the declaration was illegitimate due to the lack of international recognition, but later created Timor Leste as a de facto country and a state namely The Democratic Republic of Timor Leste or RDTL.  Since then, Fretilin Central Committee (Portuguese acronym: CCF) began to legalize the first constitution of RDTL (http://cedis.fd.unl.pt/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/CONST-TIMOR-75.pdf), the national anthem,  (http://timor-leste.gov.tl/?p=34&lang=tp), the flag, a new government and a state composed of A Prime Minister, Ministers and secretaries.

At the time, Nicolau dos Reis Lobato, the late Prime Minister, appointed Rogerio Diamantino Tiago Lobato as the Minister of Defence, and late Hermenegildo Alves as the Vice Minister of Defense.  However, the positions did not last long due to the Indonesian military invasion of Timor Leste on 07 December 1975.  The organic structure of the first government did not work and was dissolved.

 

Independence Restoration in 2002


The Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (RDTL) defence Institution was re-established by the first constitutional government in 2002 after Independence Restoration.  The institution was legalized through decree law no. 2/2002 of the first constitutional government (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2002_2005/decreto_lei_governo/3_2002.pdf).  In the structure of the first government, Defense Institution was under Secretary of State for Defense with its competencies to develop defense strategic mission as mentioned in the article 146 of the constitution of Timor Leste.  Secretary of State for Defense also develops defense politics, particularly development plan of the Timor Leste Defense Force.  In the first constitutional government, Dr. Roque Rodrigues was appointed as Secretary of State for Defense Affairs.  Dr. Roque Rodrigues later resigned after a military crisis occurred from March to June 2006.

Following the 2006 crisis, from August 2006, the second constitutional government was established, led by Dr. Jose Manuel Ramos Horta (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2006/serie_1/serie1_no11.pdf) .  At the time, Dr. Ramos Horta was the Prime Minister as well as Defense Minister. In the the second constitutional government, Defense Institution was transformed into a ministry based on decree law no. 16/2006 on Ministry of Defense ( http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2006/serie_1/serie1_no19.pdf ). The transformation was an important decision after the crisis within F-DFTL institution. Dr. Ramos Horta thought that it was urgent to provide tremendous support to the development of Defense Force, in particular to develop priorities in order to respond to necessities such as military uniforms, weaponry, laws, regulations, residences, offices, veteran affairs, etc.

In April 2007, Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta resigned and later became a presidential candidate for 2007 – 2018 terms.  The third constitutional government was then established and Eng. Estanislau da Silva was appointed as Prime Minister.  Based on decree law no. 16/2006, the Prime Minister was also Minister of Defense as in the second constitutional government.

However, the third constitutional government only lasted for four months.  In August 2017 the fourth constitutional government was legalized (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2007/serie_1/serie1_no25.pdf ) and led by Mr Kayrala Xanana Gusmao.  Defense and security Institution were merged into one institution namely the Ministry of Defense and Security through a decree law no. 31/2008 (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2008/serie_1/serie1_no35.pdf).  The politics served as a strategy of the fourth constitutional government to reform defense and security sectors.  Mr Xanana also served as Minister of Defense.  Based on decree law no. 31/2008, two Secretaries of State were established, each for Defense (F-FDTL) and Security (PNTL) affairs.  Dr. Julio Tomas Pinto was nominated as Secretary of State for Defense, while Dr. Francisco Guterres was nominated as Secretary of State for Security. During Mr Xanana Gusmao’s leadership, F-FDTL and PNTL were transformed into professional and integrated force. The two institutions had joint operation and built effective communication. F-FDTL and PNTL had rapid development in combat management, logistics, human resource and intervention in Defense and security areas.  Political centralization under Kayrala Xanana’s command enabled the re-consolidation of moral and confidence in F-FDTL and PNTL.  This condition allowed security to take place, and was a condition to guarantee stability from 2007 to 2012.

In August 2012, the fifth constitutional government was established, and Mr Xanana Gusmao as the Prime Minister continued to maintain the structure of the fourth constitutional government and he still served as Minister of Defense and Security.  Dr. Julio Tomas Pinto was also nominated as Secretary of State for Defense and Dr. Francisco Guterres as Secretary of State for Security. However, the government re-modeling based on decree law no. 6/2015 No 6/2015 (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2015/serie_1/SERIE_I_NO_9.pdf) had caused the birth of the sixth constitutional government led by Dr. Rui Rui Maria Araujo, and Dr. Cerilio was nominated as Minister of Defense. The Ministry of Defense worked on a new organic law based on decree law no. 20/2015 http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2015/serie_1/SERIE_I_NO_25.pdf where Ministry of Defense was separated from Ministry of Security (Interior).

In September 2017, the seventh constitutional government was established based on decree law no. 35/2017 (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2017/serie_1/SERIE_I_NO_43_A.pdf). The Prime Minister was Dr. Mari Alkatiri and Mr. Jose Agustinho Samotxo was nominated as Minister of Defense and Security.  Nevertheless, the government was not stable due to the lack of political consensus at the National Parliament.  The government was minority and the mandate terminated in June 2018.

In June 2018, the eight constitutional government was established based on decree law no.14/2018 (http://www.mj.gov.tl/jornal/public/docs/2018/serie_1/SERIE_I_NO_32_B.pdf ).  The Prime Minister is Taur Matan Ruak and Brigadier General Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus was nominated as Minister of Defense as well as interim Minister of Interior.

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