East Timor: violence at presidential transition

Renewed violence in Dili left one dead as Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in May 20 as East Timor’s president. UN police to fire teargas and warning shots, and arrested 42. Following the first election since independence in 2002, Ramos-Horta was sworn in to replace the former guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmao on the same day that East Timor marked five years since independence. Gusmao, a close Ramos-Horta ally, did not contest the election for the largely ceremonial job of president, but will run for the more powerful post of prime minister in next month’s parliamentary polls. Ramos-Horta was sworn in by the man he trounced in the May 9 election, parliament speaker Francisco Guterres from the ruling Fretilin party. The street violence was apparently between Ramos-Horta supporters and Fretilin youth. (AFP, May 21)

See our last post on East Timor.