Timor-Leste Government

What is the capital of Timor-Leste?

Country Name Timor-Leste
Full Country Name Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

note: pronounced TEE-mor LESS-tay
Local - Long Republika Demokratika Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste [Portuguese]
Local - Short Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Timor-Leste [Portuguese]
Former Name East Timor, Portuguese Timor
Etymology- history of name "timor" derives from the Indonesian and Malay word "timur" meaning "east"; "leste" is the Portuguese word for "east", so "Timor-Leste" literally means "Eastern-East"; the local [Tetum] name "Timor Lorosa'e" translates as "East Rising Sun"
Government Type semi-presidential republic
Capital Name Dili
Capital - geographic coordinate 8 35 S, 125 36 E
Capital Time Difference UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Independence 20 May 2002 (from Indonesia); note - 28 November 1975 was the date independence was proclaimed from Portugal; 20 May 2002 was the date of international recognition of Timor-Leste's independence from Indonesia
National Holiday Restoration of Independence Day, 20 May (2002); Proclamation of Independence Day, 28 November (1975)
Constitution drafted 2001, approved 22 March 2002, entered into force 20 May 2002

Timor-Leste Capital City Map

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Timor-Leste Government and Politics

Who is the president of Timor-Leste?

Executive Branch:

chief of state: President Francisco GUTERRES (since 20 May 2017); note - the president is commander in chief of the military and is able to veto legislation, dissolve parliament, and call national elections

head of government: Prime Minister Taur Matan RUAK (since 22 June 2018); note - President GUTERRES dissolved parliament because of an impasse over passing the country's budget on 26 January 2018, with then Prime Minister Mari ALKATIRI assuming the role of caretaker prime minister until a new prime minister was appointed; note - Prime Minister RUAK offers resignation 25 February 2020 due to inability to pass 2020 budget in parliament, Pres has not accepted his offer

cabinet: the governing coalition in the Parliament proposes cabinet member candidates to the Prime Minister, who presents these recommendations to the President of the Republic for swearing in

elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 March 2017 (next to be held in 2022); following parliamentary elections, the president appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition as the prime minister

election results: Francisco GUTERRES elected president; percent of vote - Francisco GUTERRES (FRETILIN) 57.1%, Antonio DA CONCEICAO (PD) 32.5%, Jose Luis GUTERRES (Frenti-Mudanca) 2.6%, Jose NEVES (independent) 2.3%, Luis Alves TILMAN (independent) 2.2%, other 3.4%

Citizenship Criteria:

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Timor-Leste

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Legal System:

civil law system based on the Portuguese model; note - penal and civil law codes to replace the Indonesian codes were passed by Parliament and promulgated in 2009 and 2011, respectively

Suffrage:

17 years of age; universal

Legislative Branch:

description: unicameral National Parliament (65 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)

elections: last held on 12 May 2018 (next to be held in July 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - AMP - 49.6%, FRETILIN 34.2%, PD 8.1%, DDF 5.5%, other 2.6%; seats by party - AMP 34, FRETILIN 23, PD 5, DDF 3; composition - men 39, women 26, percent of women 40%

Judicial Branch:

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the court president and NA judges)

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the president of the republic from among the other court judges to serve a 4-year term; other Supreme Court judges appointed - 1 by the Parliament and the others by the Supreme Council for the Judiciary, a body presided by the Supreme Court president and includes mostly presidential and parliamentary appointees; other Supreme Court judges appointed for life

subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Administrative, Tax, and Audit Court; district courts; magistrates' courts; military courts

note: the UN Justice System Programme, launched in 2003 in 4 phases through 2018, is helping strengthen the country's justice system; the Programme is aligned with the country's long-range Justice Sector Strategic Plan, which includes legal reform

Regions or States:

13 administrative districts; Aileu, Ainaro, Baucau, Bobonaro (Maliana), Cova-Lima (Suai), Dili, Ermera (Gleno), Lautem (Los Palos), Liquica, Manatuto, Manufahi (Same), Oecussi (Ambeno), Viqueque

note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Political Parties and Leaders:

Democratic Party or PD [Fernando "Lasama" de ARAUJO]

Frenti-Mudanca [Jose Luis GUTERRES]

National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction or CNRT [Kay Rala Xanana GUSMAO]

Revolutionary Front of Independent Timor-Leste or FRETILIN [Mari ALKATIRI]

(only parties in Parliament are listed)

International Law Organization Participation:

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

International Organization Participation:

ACP, ADB, AOSIS, ARF, ASEAN (observer), CPLP, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PIF (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WMO

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Domingos Sarmento ALVES (since 21 May 2014)

chancery: 4201 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 504, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 966-3202

FAX: [1] (202) 966-3205

Diplomatic Representation from US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Karen STANTON (since 16 January 2015)

embassy: Avenida de Portugal, Praia dos Coqueiros, Dili

mailing address: US Department of State, 8250 Dili Place, Washington, DC 20521-8250

telephone: (670) 332-4684

FAX: (670) 331-3206

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