Gusmao named prime minister

8 August 2007 at 10:25 am | Posted in East Timor, Sydney Peace Prize, Xanana Gusmao | Leave a comment

2000 Sydney Peace Prize recipient Xanana Gusmao has been named as Prime Minister of East Timor. He is scheduled to be sworn in today.

East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta named Gusmao as prime minister yesterday after attempts to form a unity government failed. But this decision sparked widespread violence in Dili yesterday as Fretilin supporters went on a rampage to protest the decision.

Fretilin, the former ruling party, said the East Timorese government was illegal and is threatening to challenge the decision in court.

There was no clear winner in East Timor’s June parliamentary elections. None of the contesting party won a clear majority. Fretilin won the most seats – 21, while Gusmao’s CNRT party won 18. But Gusmao formed a coalition with the other smaller parties, giving it 37 seats in the 65-seat parliament.

Ramos-Horta has appealed for calm.


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