It’s hard to blather on about things here without mentioning the forthcoming elections. I am not sure exactly what positions are up for grabs and when things must happen according to the constitution and electoral laws. Mercifully, I have no intention of reading those as bed-time reading.
However, as I understand it, there are presidential (ie President Xanana Gusmao) and parliamentary (ie PM Ramos-Horta) elections which are meant to be conducted before June.
As I had heard it until yesterday, President Xanana does not want to continue as President, but wants to retire to pumpkin growing. A noble pastime, made even nobler if he took up broccoli as well (hint). Then yesterday I read that Xanana may put himself forward as a candidate for the parliament, representing a yet to be announced party. True ? I don’t know.
I have no idea what PM Ramos-Horta intends to do. I think everyone thinks that ex-PM Alkatiri is a shoe-in as the next PM.
Now add some proposed presidential candidates : the head of the Timorese military Taur Matan Ruak (TMR) and the “rebel” Major Alfredo. So the last 3 names I mentioned are people who have possible criminal charges hanging over their heads with respect to last year’s troubles.
That should make for some interesting political (and legal) manoeuvring over the next few months. I hope Xanana has time to publish his favourite pumpkin soup recipe before he is taken up with electoral things. Xanana, happy to do a pumpkin soup cook-off anytime, any place. Winner takes all.