Gusmao named East Timor prime minister

Former East Timor president Xanana Gusmao was named Monday as the new prime minister of the impoverished South-East Asian country.

 Gusmao named East Timor prime minister
Former East Timor president Xanana Gusmao was named Monday as the new prime minister of the impoverished South-East Asian country.

More than a month after an inconclusive general election, President Jose Ramos Horta said that he used his constitutional powers to break the impasse.

He told reporters in Dili, the East Timor capital, that he had asked Gusmao and his coalition partners to form a government and that Gusmao had been put forward as prime minister and that he had accepted that nomination.

Ramos Horta, prime minister until two months ago, told East Timor's 1 million people in a televised broadcast that he needed to act because the new parliament had been in session for a week, yet no leader had emerged.

"Based on my interpretation and based on the will of the people and my assessment of National Parliament, Grand Alliance can form a government because they will approve the national budget," the Nobel Peace Prize winner said.

In the June 30 general election, the Fretilin Party of former prime minister Mari Alkatiri won 21 seats in the unicameral legislature. Gusmao's brand-new CNRT was second with 18 seats of its own and more when coalition partners were counted.

Alkatiri, who was ousted in June 2006 in the civil disorder following his sacking of 600 soldiers, argued that Fretilin should form the government because it had the most representatives in the 65-seat assembly.

Fretilin saw its share of the vote slide to 29 per cent from 57 per cent in 2001.

The half-island was an Indonesian province for 24 years before it gained independence in 2002. The Indonesian invasion in 1975 ended 400 years of Portuguese rule.

DPA
Last Mod: 06 Ağustos 2007, 16:25
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