Thursday, 14 July 2011

Political Earthquake: Major General Taur Matan Ruak to Run for President.

Tempo Semanal-14/07/2011

Reliable Tempo Semanal  souces said that the Chief of the East Timorese Defence Force, FALINTIL-FDTL has strongly indicated in public and in private that it is his intention to soon resign from the defence force because he intends to run in the 2012 Presidential election.
(L) L-7, (C) Xanana Gusamao (R) Taur Matan Ruak
 1999 in Remexio

Ruak’s most serious competition on the Presidential elections likely includes FRETILIN’s President Fransisco “Lu Olo” Guterres, current President Jose Ramos-Horta, and the President of the National Parliament Fernando Lasama.  Some indications include that Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres will also candidate himself.

According to Tempo Semanal sources General Ruak will resign from the national defence force by the end of the year and quickly announce his candidacy as a civilian citizen for the Presidency in early 2012.

According to Tempo Semanal sources, General Ruak informed the President of the Republic Jose Ramos-Horta in late June 2011 that it was his intention to run for the Presidency.  President Ramos-Horta indicated to General Ruak that it was 90% certain he would not run for the Presidency again.  According to TS sources President Ramos-Horta shortly afterward met with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the Secretary-General of FRETILIN Mari Alkatiri and informed them that General Ruak intended to resign from the defence force and candidate himself for Presidency.

After hearing that General Ruak intends to run for the Presidency on 22 June 2011 President Ramos-Horta indicated that he is almost certain he will not seek re-election.

General Ruak is known to have strong popularity in the ranks of the FRETILIN Opposition but is also known to have strong ties to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao based on common experience in the guerrilla struggle.  General Ruak’s position as a military officer has been carefully independent of political party position, but it is known that he privately questions the agendas of many civilian political leaders.  According the TS sources General Ruak understands that he can only play a role in national politics as a civilian, so he must resign from the defence force.

Major-General Taur Matan Ruak is a 24-year veteran of the armed struggle against Indonesian occupation between 1975 and 1999.  However, he is not of the older generation who played leadership roles in the 1975 civil war.  He is both of the past and the present and the future.

General Ruak was a field commander in FALINTIL during the 1980s and 1990s.  After Xanana Gusmao the commander of FALINTIL was captured in 1992 and later on Konis Santana was declared field commander in 1993 Ruak was appointed Chief of Staff of FALINTIL with responsibility for military operations.

After Santana died in March 1998 Ruak was appointed field commander of FAILINTIL.

In 2000 upon the resignation of now Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao from FALINTIL, Ruak became commander of FALINTIL.

On 1 February 2001 FALINTIL was transformed into the modern defence force FALINTIL-FDTL.

Between 2001 and 2006 Ruak was the lead uniformed defence leader in Timor-Leste under the civilian leadership of the FRETILIN government. Ruak came under considerable pressure in 2006 and 2007 for the real and perceived mistakes made by the defence force during the crisis.

Since 2007 under the civilian leadership of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and the Secretary of State for Defence Julio Pinto, Ruak has made many changes in the defence force. Numerous soldiers have been rewarded from professional success and a large number have been dismissed for misconduct and even crimes that the civilan justice system cannot process.  The defence force is also in a stage of advanced development regarding naval and even air components and is soon the join international peacekeeping efforts in Lebanon in the UN peacekeeping mission UNIFIL.

General Ruak “Jose Maria Vasconselos” is from Baguia subdistrict in Baucau.  He speaks Makassae, Naueti, Tetun and Portuguese.  He is also a self-taught English speaker.  He is known, as being a strong-minded frontal personality who has conviction is positions.  General Ruak was recommended for prosecution by the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry into the event of the crisis of 2006.  He is also known to have fully cooperated with this commission in its fact-finding efforts.  He was subsequently cleared of allegations.

General Ruak is married to Isabel Ferriera of Manufahi District and has three children, two daughters and one son. (***)


Anonymous said...

TMR could be a good president for Timor-Leste!

TMR would never agree to give $150,000 from Timor-Leste to a beautiful international model.

Horta should go live in Mozambique or Portugal

Anonymous said...

"General Ruak is known to have strong popularity in the ranks of the FRETILIN Opposition"

C'mon Tempo Semanal!

Major General Ruak's popularity extends well beyond the "ranks of Fretilin opposition" and rightly so for his role in the struggle for independence, his calm and well mannered nature, his personal standing above party politics, etc.

To limit his popularity to the ranks of Fretilin opposition is an insult to the figure of Major General Ruak as a national hero of the Independence struggle. His popularity is much bigger than that because the way he has carried himself has elevated him beyond party politics. If it wasn't he would surely have trouble winning a presidential election which I think would not be the case.

I am not Fretilin nor are a lot of fellow Timorese people I know but we are nationalists above all and we all have much respect and high regard for Major General Taur Matan Ruak who would receive our votes.

Anonymous said...

General Taur Matan Ruak will have the support of the F-FDTL and Xanana will have the support of the PNTL. Coronel Lere has already said that the jobs of the forces are clrearly separated and wants the 2012 elections to be without any disturbances. Let's wait and see

Anonymous said...

Whether you want it or not any presidential candidate for 2012 must count on the votes from FRETILIN supporters, due to the fact that FRETILIN was the largest single most voted Party in 2007. Though for a presidential election these potential votes can not be a determinant factor for winning but still they represent a majority, therefore would provide unity, a more legitimate, representative, president for Timor Leste in an important figure such as Taur Matan Ruak.

Anonymous said...

"Whether you want it or not any presidential candidate for 2012 must count on the votes from FRETILIN supporters, due to the fact that FRETILIN was the largest single most voted Party in 2007."

Am I missing something here?

If that is the case why didn't Fretilin's candidate Luolo win the presidency in 2007?

From last elections results what came through loud and clear was that a candidate's best chance to win the presidential election is to make sure he/she has no close association with Fretilin.
Fretilin's candidate.

Fretilin votes would only count if in a second round none of the two remaining candidates were from Fretilin.

Anonymous said...

Fretilin is the majority party in East Timor, therefore it is hard to see how a Presidential candidate that is not endorsed by Fretilin can be successful. Timor Leste has seen too much of close arrangements between the big shakers and movers and I hope that Fretilin puts forward a competent and plausible candidate that has general public acceptance to ensure that beyond 2012 we can have a bit more balance in our politics and place the brakes on Xanana's autocratic rule a la Robert Mugabe.
What a joke Jose Luis Guterres running for the Presidency...

Anonymous said...

1- Taur will not run for president, full stop..........he's not that stupid....................

2-Forget Fretilin in next years election because they will only get around 10 to 12% of the votes.