08/06/2007, 00.00
EAST TIMOR
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Xanana Gusmao is the new Prime Minister of East Timor

Today’s decision by president Jose Ramos-Horta unblocks the country’s political stalemate: neither of the two main political parties had gained a majority in the June elections.

Dili (AsiaNews/Agencies) – East Timor's President, Nobel peace prize winner,  Jose Ramos-Horta has chosen independence hero Xanana Gusmao to be the country's new prime minister.  The president personally nominated the new premier to resolve the political deadlock following the in conclusive results of last Junes elections.

Fretilin, in power since 2001, had gained 29% of the vote in the poll with Gusmao's new National Congress for the Reconstruction of East Timor (CNRT) following on 24%. The election has been seen as a fresh start for the young, poor nation, - the average income is less then a dollar a day - but they failed to return a majority.  The two parties had been unable to agree on the formation of a new government, giving the president the constitutional right to settle the matter: the president’s personal intervention puts an end to the deadlock and supports the neo-premier in his formation of a coalition government.

Xanana Gusmao, born under Portuguese rule in Manatuto is a practising Catholic and a hero of the resistance in the Indonesia. In April of 2002 he became President of the republic following free elections and has always maintained a role of prime importance with the nation’s political life.

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