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East Timor goes to the polls

6 years ago17 views




Voters in East Timor queued up to cast their votes for new parliament members and a prime minister on Saturday (July 7).

Polling stations opened at 7.00 local time (2200 GMT Friday). Some people had started queuing an hour before, enthusiastic to vote for the future of Asia's youngest nation.

Twenty-one political parties are competing for 65 seats in parliament.

Political watchers said the two main parties going head-to-head are the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) and the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) party.

Incumbent Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who heads the CNRT, came out with his wife to vote at a polling station in Dili.

The candidate is eyeing another next term in power.

Another popular candidate is Mari Alkatiri, former prime minister from 2002-2006 and president of the leftist political party FRETILIN.

East Timor has a population of more than one million people with about 620,000 eligible voters.

The parliamentary elections follow a peaceful presidential vote in April, which saw former guerilla leader Taur Matan Ruak elected as the country's president.

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