East Timor Presidential Elections

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East Timor’s former parliament chief Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres has won the country’s presidential election.

Guterres secured 57 per cent of the vote. His closest rival, social affairs and education minister Antonio da Conceicao, was in second position with 32.5 per cent.

Guterres will be the first presidential candidate to have won a clear majority in the first round since independence hero Xanana Gusmao was overwhelmingly elected as president in 2002.

Guterres is backed by the Fretilin party and CNRT, the party founded by Gusmao, who provided key support to Guterres during his election campaign.

The election was the first since United Nations peacekeepers left the country in 2012.

East Timor’s economy is heavily reliant on oil revenues but its $US16-billion sovereign wealth fund derived from petroleum money is fast drying up.

The country remains one of the world’s poorest, with about 40 per cent of its population categorised as poor.

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