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.
Surrenders bring number of Abu Sayyaf members to hand themselves in since gov't offensive began in July to 34
4 men opened fire on workers in Central Highlands region with shotguns; 15 people also injured
Civilians killed on both sides of border as India, Pakistan renew clashes
In July, the North cut off its only remaining official channel of diplomatic communications with the United States in retaliation for American sanctions against its leader, Kim Jong-Un.
A top Maoist leader and his son were suspected to be among those killed after a shootout with police
The escapees flooded onto nearby roads, according to footage in local media, prompting officials to urge residents to stay indoors and lock their homes.
Previously scheduled meeting takes place after President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of separation from US
Park Geun-hye makes U-turn on constitutional reform, claiming 5 years in office may be too short to make real difference
"At the UN, the leader of a country asked me which of the candidates I preferred. I responded: 'Do I prefer the bad over the worse, or the worse over the bad?" Rouhani said at a speech in Arak in central Iran.
In meetings at the exclusive Jingxi Hotel, safe from the public's prying eyes, nearly 400 top members of the Chinese Communist Party will confer for four days, discussing changes to how the giant party will be managed.
After Beijing visit, Philippine leader hopeful fishermen will be able to access area to which China has restricted access
The move follows complaints from conservatives that foreign energy companies are being allowed to take the lead on major projects as Iran emerges from international isolation following its nuclear deal with world powers.
Police say 17 men arrested while waiting to receive money from families to pay extra to be smuggled to Malaysia
Duterte’s comments in China lead to uncertainty about how Japan’s diplomats are expected to respond to Manila’s turnaround
Police say festival was underway at park in Tochigi prefecture, investigation ongoing
Culture and entertainment suffers as nationalistic sentiment stirred by India-Pakistan tension