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Reflections on East Timorese elections and politics

by Max Lane

No leaderships with a national-scale authority

The recent Presidential and parliamentary elections have been very revealing. They have showed that no political institution or figure from the period of the national liberation struggle has developed a political following based on program, ideology, ideas or leadership. No figure or institution scored more than 29% in either the first round of the Presidential elections or the parliamentary elections. In the parliamentary elections both CNRT, the umbrella organization the Resistance (and de facto the only operating structure) and FRETILIN, the organization that lead the movement in the 1970s and proclaimed Independence with the support of the majority of the people, scored less than 30%. FRETILIN scored 4% more than CNRT: 29 to 25%. The Democratic Party (PD) and the ASDT led by a pre-1999 student leader and a founder of FRETILIN respectively scored less than 20%.

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