16 July 2012

Gusmao to form East Timor coalition

Joyce Morgan, Dili July 15, 2012
EAST Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao will form a coalition government with the country's two minor parties.

The decision was announced at a special meeting of his CNRT (National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction) in the capital, Dili, yesterday.
Mr Gusmao's party won 30 seats in the 65-seat parliament in elections just over a week ago. But it was three seats short of being able to govern in its own right.

Mr Gusmao's party increased its vote at last weekend's election from 24 per cent in 2007 to 36 per cent. Fretilin received 30 per of the vote and 25 seats, PD (Democratic Party) - backed by outgoing president Jose Ramos-Horta - gained 10 per cent and eight seats and Frenti-Mundanca 3 per cent and two seats.

The CNRT's general secretary said forming a coalition with PD and Frenti-Mudanca was in the best interest of stable government.

A Fretilin MP, Estanislau da Silva, said he was not disappointed by yesterday's decision. ''We would have liked to contribute,'' he said. ''We have experience. But that is their decision.''

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