Nobel Laureate José Ramos-Horta Wins Timor-Leste Presidential Election

Nobel laureate José Ramos-Horta scored a landslide victory in the presidential election in Timor-Leste, according to preliminary results on April 20.

Preliminary results published by the election secretariat showed that Ramos-Horta secured 397,145 votes (62.09%) while incumbent President Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres had 242,440 votes (37.91%).

The electoral commission will validate the election results.

The victory grants Ramos-Horta, 72, his second term in office. He served as president from 2007 to 2012 and was also Timor-Leste’s first prime minister.

Ramos-Horta said that he came out of retirement to challenge Guterres, whom he accused of violating the Constitution.

Ramos-Horta will be sworn in on May 20 when Timor-Leste celebrates the 20th anniversary of its independence.

Ramos-Horta had pledged to break a longstanding deadlock between the two main political parties in the country and previously indicated that he might dissolve the parliament.

Xanana Gusmao, Timor-Leste’s first president and the current head of the National Congress of the Reconstruction of Timor-Leste, endorsed Ramos-Horta.

Ramos-Horta received the Nobel Peace Prince in 1996 for his efforts to reach a peace deal with Indonesia, which occupied Timor-Leste for 24 hours.

In 2008, Ramos-Horta survived an assassination attempt.

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