After parliament dissolved, new elections to solve constitutional crisis

The date for the vote will be set within 30 days. Last July’s election left the country without a working majority. Party leaders are slammed for turning “their backs to each other.”

Dili (AsiaNews/Agencies) – East Timor is set to hold fresh elections after President Francisco Guterres (pictured) dissolved Parliament today.

The decision ends a months-long political impasse that plunged Asia’s youngest democracy into a post-election stalemate.

A tense political situation between the two main political parties had left Asia’s most Catholic country (97 per cent) on the brink of its worst period of political instability in more than a decade.

After two years of government of national unity, the elections last July led to a minority government under Fretilin against the opposition led by the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (Congresso Nacional de Reconstrução de Timor, CNRT).

With only 30 seats in the 65-seat house, the government relied on the confidence and support of other parties in parliament.

Speaking at the presidential palace, Mr Guterres called for new parliamentary elections to put an end to “a serious institutional crisis” and blasted leaders for turning “their backs to each other”.

“I am convinced that the people must be called to vote once again in order to help, to overcome the challenge that lies (ahead) in our young democracy,” he said, adding that the date for new elections will be set within 30 days.