Country Risk

Parties' apparent agreement on East Timor's presidential candidate indicates continued government stability.

24 January 2017


The leader of East Timor's largest party, the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (Conselho Nacional de Reconstrução de Timor: CNRT), Xanana Gusmão, said on 23 January that he will support the candidacy of Francisco Lú-Olo' Guterres from the rival Fretilin party in the presidential election on 20 March.

The CNRT and Fretilin are the two largest parties in parliament with 30 and 25 seats, respectively: they constitute the main parties in a four-party national unity government that controls all the seats in the country's 65-seat parliament. Although the presidency is largely a ceremonial post, the current president, Taur Matan Ruak, has used his limited power to criticise the government's budget priorities.

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