Mar 22, 2012

And then there were two: Timor-Leste’s presidential run-off

The main commonality between Lu-Olo and Ruak is that they are both "generation of '75" veterans of Timor-Leste’s long guerilla struggle for independence.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

Following Timor-Leste’s presidential election last Saturday, the two leading candidates, Fretilin’s Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao-backed Taur Matan Ruak, will now progress to a second round of voting in mid-April. Their success to date reflects perhaps more the relatively high level of party loyalty within Timor-Leste than support for the two as individuals.

At 28%, Lu-Olo’s vote was almost exactly the same as in the first round of the 2007 election. Ruak’s vote reflected support in 2007 from the main government party, CNRT, for outgoing president Jose Ramos-Horta, then at 22%. At that time, CNRT was a new party and has since had time to consolidate in office, reflected in Ruak’s 25% vote.

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