Should East Timor Be Admitted to Asean?

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Colonized by a former Portuguese for almost four centuries, and later occupied for another 24-years by Indonesia, finally became a fully independent republic with a parliamentary form of government on 20 May 2002. Within five months after its independence, the newly born country expressed its hope to become the member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the future. However, the economic development of the country, which is still categorized as a Least Developed Country has generated seriously, concerns among some members the grouping that it will limit its engagement by the time the country join ASEAN. Therefore, there are four main reasons for admitting East Timor to ASEAN.

First, one of the best points that East Timor should admitted to ASEAN is its geography. East Timor is located on the southernmost edge of the Indonesian archipelago, northwest of Australia. As it is placed in Southeast Asia, it satisfies to the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) and ASEAN Charter. In the Declaration, it clearly states that the ASEAN is open for participation to all States in the Southeast Asian Region subscribing to the aforementioned aims, principles and purposes.

Second, East Timor has a very good political situation. Even though this country is a newly born, it is newly built in a good standard as a fully independent country. Roles in the institution are clear and standardized. The country has a five-year term president who is elected by East Timor people and a prime minister who is the leader of the majority coalition and is appointed by the president. The president’s role is basically symbolic, but he or she does have veto power over certain types of legislations. The prime minister, in contrast, is the head of government who has the power over the Council of State or cabinet. Furthermore, Timor has a very effective administrative division. It has13 districts subdivided into 65 sub districts which are systematically in an absolute...
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