Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy in Timor-Leste

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This documentary presents the evolution of the National Parliament of Timor-Leste with the support of UNDP.

Timor-Leste is a young country that only turned independent from Indonesia in 2002. As Timor-Leste didn’t have a long parliamentary tradition, UNDP as one of the most experienced agencies supporting Parliaments across the world, got involved to help build up this important state pillar in 2003.

The documentary discusses various themes in the specific country context, including the process of law-making, how to become a Member of Parliament, the achievements of the Parliament in recent years, the conditions for a well-functioning  Parliament and the need for a constant strengthening of the capacities of MPs.

It also points out some challenges that emerged on the way, as for example the problem in the first and second legislature to constantly translate the two official languages of Timor-Leste: Tetum and Portuguese. Timor-Leste was able to overcome this problem in the third and fourth period of legislature though an investment in Portuguese language training.

Achievements in the last years became manifest in the very active role that the Parliament of Timor-Leste has taken in the process of oversight, preparation and implementation of the budget. With the help of UNDP, parliament has furthermore developed its capacity to engage with and reach out to the public.

To know more about the fascinating history of the development of the Parliament of Timor-Leste, click here to watch the full documentary.