World Bulletin/News Desk
The party of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has won East Timor's parliamentary election, but was short of a majority, provisional results showed on Sunday, raising the prospect of a coalition government in Asia's youngest nation.
With all the ballots counted from Saturday's poll, the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) party led by Gusmao, a former guerrilla leader, had 36.7 percent of the vote, election commission official Tomas Cabral said.
The opposition Fretilin Party, also a key player in securing independence from Indonesia, scored 29.9 percent. The Democratic Party lay third with 10.3 percent, placing it in a key position in any bid to form a government.
"The result makes us even more curious about who would form the government," said Antonio dos Reis, a veteran independence fighter. "But for me, these parties should unite and form a united government so that we can start developing this country."
With negotiations on a coalition almost certainly ahead, voters huddled around radios to hear the latest tallies, while many followed results posted on Facebook and Twitter.
"What we will see in the next two or three weeks is a lot of discussion between CNRT and the Fretilin about the potential arrangements for the foundation of the government," said Silas Everett, country representative for the Asia Foundation.
"The discussions will probably result in either a coalition or a minority government."
The CNRT based its platform on seeking foreign loans to build infrastructure in one of Asia's poorest country with high youth unemployment. Fretilin opposes resorting to loans.
However, Everett said that if the parties could bridge their differences, the resulting coalition would produce a more stable government able to proceed with economic development.
CNRT is open for talks following the result announcement, said Dionisio Babo Soares, the party's secretary general.
The party targeted to win 44 seats but would only get around 30 of the 65-seat parliament based on the result.
Official results are expected on July 17. The government has said a new administration will be formed by Aug. 8.
The United Nations, which has said its mission will end in December, lauded Saturday's election as peaceful and orderly.
Boy shot during riots caused by allegations that Hindu man burned copy of Quran
Secretary of state says Hague decison on disputes of ownership legally binding ; expects compliance
Report says families of missing people still lack closure, years after end of civil war in 2009
South Korean military reveals recent discovery of North Korean leaflets in Han River
China slams statement released by allies urging sides abide by Hague court’s South China Sea ruling in favor of Manila
Attorney general does not deny executions may be held at end of week as security tightened around notorious prison island
Irom Sharmila brings protest to end to enter politics, continue fight against human rights abuses
He said US forces have conducted more than 450 airstrikes since the beginning of the year with the latest attack being in Nangarhar province a key ISIL stronghold
Curfew lifted in much of Kashmir but communications still suspended, protests continue
Afghan army launches crackdown after ISIL claims suicide bombing that killed more than 80 in capital
Bangladesh police carry out raid on suspected Dhaka hideout after deadly cafe attack
More than 1,070 killed this year, but majority of missing and losses also due to storms wreaking havoc since June
Philippines president outlines injustice suffered by Muslim community during inaugural State of Nation address
As was the case during 2015 executions, policing tightened around Nusakambangan island and prison visits banned
Former employee of facility for disabled people reported to have turned himself in to police after attack
Nepali police arrest protesters involved in shutdown called as Nepali political crisis deepens