Translation of earlier article:
The possibility of the resignation from the position of Minister for Foreign Affairs by the President of PSD Zacarias Albano da Costa will have an impact on the foundations of the Xanana government.
According to Tempo Semanal’s confidential and trusted sources from within the Council of Ministers it is said that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation (MFAC), Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa has threatened to resign from his position because of some differences of opinion with the Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao.
Minister Zacarias sent an SMS text to the office of the Prime Minister on 27/03/2010 to inform him that, “When I return I will request a meeting with the Prime Minister before announcing publicly my resignation,” a trusted source from within Timor-Leste’s Council of Ministers read out directly this SMS text from Minister Zacarias to this newspaper.
The source explained that the differences between the leader of the government and this member of government were exacerbated when the Minister for Foreign affairs and Cooperation boycotted the wishes of his leader.
“This shows that the Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa was challenging the authority of the Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao by not complying with the instructions of the leader of the IV Constitutional Government’s. The Prime Minister wanted all ambassadors to return to attend the development partners’ meeting, as they normally do annually, but this year the Minister ordered them not to come. This is acting against the national interest.”
During the meeting of the Cpuncil of Ministers on the 31/03/2010 the Prime Minister asked Dr Zacarias to quickly act on his threat. Trusted sources from the Council of Ministers told this newspaper that the Prime Minister said, “send your resignation to me.”
“Minister Zacarias has already threatened to resign often, starting with when he sent an SMS to Deputy Prime Minister Lugo,” the source alleged.
When this newspaper tried to confirm with the Minister for Foreign affairs and Cooperation by telephone on 01/04/2010 in Bali Dr Zacaria said that he would not be making any further comments because he was on holidays and on his way to Singapore for medical treatment, and that on his return on 06/04/2010 he would speak with the Prime Minister before speaking to journalists.
Asked about the SMS to the Prime Minister, Dr Zacarias said that, “I prefer not to say anymore because I have not yet spoken to the Prime Minister, I am still on leave and will return on the sixth (06.04.2010) and on the sixth I will speak further about this issue.” He added that, “I do not know what the Prime Minister said in the Council of Ministers yesterday (31.03.2010) because I did not participate in it.” He added that until he has spoken with the Prime Minister he will, “neither confirm nor deny, but when I return on the sixth then I will speak with the Prime Minister, then I think I will be able to speak with journalists.”
The Fourth Constitutional Government comprises the Parlamentary Majority Alliance (AMP), brining together the CNRT, PSD, ASDT, PD and Undertim parties. Dr Zcarias Albano da Costa comes from the Social Democratic Party and at the party’s congress was elected as its President, which resulted in a split in the said party forming the National Development Party (PDN). PSD holds six seats in the national parliament and it is likely this resignation will upset the stability of the AMP government. We wait and see.