East Timor became an independent state in 2002. The
constitution of 2002 was drafted according to Portuguese
examples, and the country is a democratic, unified state,
presidential republic. The president is elected in direct
elections for five years with the possibility of one
re-election. The president has primarily ceremonial
functions, but is formally military commander and can also
veto laws and dissolve parliament. The president has an
advisory national council. Legislative authority has been
added to a single-chamber parliament. It has between 52 and
65 members, elected for five years. The first parliamentary
elections were held in 2007, the 88-member constitutional
assembly served as parliament in 2002–07. The government is
accountable to Parliament; the president appoints the prime
minister. The political system is under development.
Administrative division. East Timor is divided into 13
administrative districts. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of TP and its meanings of East Timor.
From 2002, a temporary law came into force, prepared by
the UN. The transition to civil law has been going on since,
and a civil and criminal code was introduced in 2006, based
on Portuguese examples. A Supreme Court was established in
2006, the leader appointed by parliament.
East Timor's defense
East Timor's total force is 2280 active personnel in the
army, of which 80 are personnel in a sea component. The army
is very easily equipped. The sea component has seven patrol
boats, and a small air component has one light aircraft.
In 2001, a new East Timorese defense force was
established which gradually took over the peacekeeping tasks
of the UN Transitional Administration and the UN
Peacekeeping Force (UNMISET). This was withdrawn in 2005.