Land Politics under Timor-Leste’s New Government

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Author/s (editor/s):

Meabh Cryan

Publication year:

2015

Publication type:

In Brief

Earlier this year, Xanana Gusmão stepped down as prime minster of Timor-Leste, appointing Dr Rui Araújo, a well-respected member of the opposition, to replace him. The long-awaited change in Timor- Leste’s political leadership is underpinned by the reconciliation between Gusmão and opposition leader, Mari Alkatiri, who have both agreed to step aside into new roles. These enticing new roles ensure their respective control over the country’s two largest economic development projects (the Oecusse Special Economic Zone and the Tasi Mane South Coast Petroleum Development Project). This In Brief examines how the change in government and the role of these two powerful figures in state-driven economic development might affect political will to legislate on land issues. It argues that the legislative lethargy of the past few years is a result of significant political economy factors.

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