East Timor's Assembly receives first draft of constitution: UN mission

East Timor's Assembly receives first draft of constitution: UN mission

The 88 members of East Timor's Constituent Assembly received today draft copies of the nation's first constitution for consideration and debate, the United Nations mission reported from the capital, Dili.

The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) said the 12 political parties represented in the Assembly held internal meetings to go over the draft and discuss its 151 articles. Plenary debate on the Constitution is expected to begin in the days ahead.

At a press conference today, Assembly President Francisco "Lú-Olo" Guterres, who distributed the drafts, said he was confident the text reflected the aspirations of the East Timorese people.

The Assembly's Committee on Systemization and Harmonization completed the draft on Tuesday after molding sections prepared by thematic groups into one cohesive text.