Timorese Democratic Union

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Timorese Democratic Union
União Democrática Timorense
LeaderGilman Santos
Founded11 May 1974[1]
Political positionRight-wing
ColoursWhite, Green, Red, Yellow, Blue, Gold
Party flag

The Timorese Democratic Union (União Democrática Timorense) is a conservative political party in East Timor. It was the first party to be established in the country in 1974, following the Carnation Revolution in Portugal.[1]

It originally advocated continued links with Portugal, using the Tetum slogan Mate bandera hum meaning 'In the shadow of the Portuguese flag', but later formed an alliance with the more left-wing Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente (Fretilin) to work towards independence in January 1975.

This alliance later broke up among accusations that Fretilin was not exercising control over its more extreme members, although by this time, UDT leaders like Francisco Lopes da Cruz had held meetings with BAKIN, the Indonesian military intelligence, which had signalled Jakarta's misgivings about an independent state under Fretilin control. In August of that year, the UDT staged a coup against the Portuguese administration, and a three-month civil war erupted. Many UDT politicians and supporters fled across the border to West Timor, where they were required to sign a petition calling for East Timor's incorporation into Indonesia.

One of the UDT's most senior leaders, Mário Viegas Carrascalão, sided with the Indonesian regime, and served as the Governor of Indonesia's '27th Province' between 1987 and 1992. His brother, João, however, led the UDT in exile in Portugal and Australia, later joining with Fretilin in a national unity movement called the Conselho Nacional de Resistência Maubere (CNRM or National Council of Maubere Resistance), later called the Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense (CNRT or National Council of Timorese Resistance).

Following the change of government in Indonesia in 1998, and subsequently the change of policy, the UDT was able to organise in East Timor, where it supported the independence campaign.

In the parliamentary election held on 30 August 2001, the party won 2.4% of the popular vote and 2 out of 88 seats.[citation needed] In the parliamentary election held on 30 June 2007, the UDT won 0.90% of the vote and did not win any seats in parliament, as it did not reach the 3% threshold to win seats.[2]


  1. ^ a b CAVR. "Chega! Final Report of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor – Part 3: The History of the Conflict" (PDF). para. 46. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  2. ^ "National Provisional Results from the 30 June 2007 Parliamentary Elections" Archived 10 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine., Comissão Nacional de Eleições Timor-Leste, 9 July 2007.

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