Thursday, May 24, 2001

A Brief History of PD

Partido Democr√°tico (PD) was established in June 10, 2000. In August 2001, two months after its formation, PD ran in the Constituent Assembly election and came second to FRETILIN, currently the ruling party

PD has since grown in size and has become a serious political contender and advocate of the public's socio-economic welfare and political interest in the current Timor-Leste's political spectrum.

The founding members of PD consist mostly of former clandestine activists and young graduates from Indonesian universities and abroad, former active senior members of the former historical CNRT's Frente Politica Interna or (FPI) including other former supporters of FRETILIN and local leaders across East Timor.

These founding members and supporters are well-known for theircreativity, courage, and conscience which they had gained and developed during the years of resistance and occupation. During this post-independence period, they have drawn on the same courage, creativity and conscience with willingness to innovate and imagine a brighter future for all Timor-Leste's families.

Regrettably, critical interpretations of the country's situation during the first period of Timor-Leste's own government point to what is seen as economic stagnation and the escalation of poverty and misery. These interpretations are based on a series of observations and evidence that includes unemployment crisis, discriminatory access to state resources based on political affiliations, poor government spending on social programs and poor investment in the economic sector. Indicators include among others a majority of the working age who are yet to find their first paid job; hundreds of thousands who are still struggling under the mounting burden of life's everyday costs and cannot afford a house, clean water and power, and many more who are still seeking justice as they mourn over their lost ones. All these families feel that the Timorese Dream they had during the cruel years of occupation and resistance is seriously endangered if not vanished.

Under the leadership of Fernando "Lasama" de Araujo (40), a former political prisoner during the Indonesia's New Order regime and Rebook Prize Winner, PD has a political platform to create a society with strong, healthy and well-educated citizens to permit them to seek a better future for themselves, for their loved ones, and for the country in a stable and fair environment.

THE PD MANIFESTO

The struggle of the liberation of East Timor has entered into its phase of liberating the nation and the people from poverty, illiteracy, ignorance and injustice, remnants of colonialism and foreign occupation. Because of the difficulties inherited from post-colonial and post-occupation and pressures resulted from the globalization, the process of the struggle for the liberation of the people from colonial and foreign occupation vestiges above mentioning is far more difficult than the struggle for the liberation of the country.

To fight against all the vestiges above mentioning and to reduce the negative impact on the process of the liberation of the nation, each and every citizen shall have its own appropriate space and make itself avaible to participate actively in this process. The history of the struggle of the liberation of the people has shown that an active and creative participation of every sector of East Timorese society in the uprooting of the shortcomings and to overcome obstacles that hinder the achievement of the national objectives is indispensable.

Without ignoring the sacrifice of our heroes and martyrs and determine to uphold their ideals of the struggle of the national liberation, and concious of the limitations that the nation is facing, and binding to the commitment of the sustainability of the national liberation, some of the citizens of Timor Loro Sae decided to establish the Partido Democratico (PD) with the following objectives:

1. Developing a participatory democracy and respect of human rights - the right to participate in the political decision-making process at every level of the system in order to guarantee a clean transparent and accountable government. Establishing a representative institution that accommodates the aspirations of the people, and developing a clean, independent and accountable judiciary system.

2. Developing a market economy with a selective intervention of the government suported by a third party in order to involve every citizen as subject and object of the economic development.

3. Developing an education system which guarantee equal opportunity and accessible to all citizens of Timor Loro Sae as well as providing opportunity for the participation of the East Timorese citizens in the management of economic development of the country.

4. Developing a social system that ensures social welfare, harmony and solidarity amongst citizens.

5. Developing a security and defense system that guarantee the protection of the territorial sovereignty and integrity of Timor Loro Sae with the purpose to create necessary conditions for peace, social tranquility, that ensure national stability.

6. Developing an active foreign policy in the spirit of cooperation and solidarity aiming at the promotion of international peace and stability.

Every act which threatens and endangers national security will be countered on the basis of the laws in order to ensure a free, democratic and sovereign society of Timor Loro Sae in accordance with socio-cultural values, internal and external factors which influence the process of the liberation of the people.

Dili, 24 May 2000

PD Organizers, Fernando "La Sama" de Araujo, President Mariano

"Assanami" Sabino Watumi Sa, Secretary General