Timor-Leste presidential election results: José Ramos-Horta wins by a landslide
According to preliminary results released Wednesday by the electoral office, Nobel winner Jose Ramos-Horta won the presidential election in East Timor by a landslide.
The 72-year-old received 397,145 votes, or 62.09 percent, against incumbent Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres' 242,440 votes, or 37.91 percent, according to the secretariat's website after all ballots were tallied on Wednesday.
The electoral commission in East Timor has yet to confirm the election results.
Ramos-Horta will be re-elected for a second term. From 2007 until 2012, he was the president of South-east Asia's youngest nation, as well as its first prime minister.
Ramos-Horta will take office on May 20, the 20th anniversary of Timor-independence Leste's from Indonesia, which controlled the former Portuguese territory for 24 years.
He promised to utilize his five-year mandate to overcome a long-standing stalemate between the two major political parties.
The election might usher in a time of uncertainty, since Ramos-Horta has said that if he won, he would dissolve parliament.
In the nation of 1.3 million inhabitants, about 860,000 individuals were entitled to vote, and more than 75% of voters came out to vote in the second round.
This week's vote was a rerun of the 2007 presidential election, which Ramos-Horta similarly easily won with 69 percent of the vote. Ramos-Horta said he stepped out of retirement to run again because he thought the departing president had broken the law.
Ramos-Horta was dominating in the election's first round on March 19, garnering 46 percent of the vote against Guterres' 22 percent, but fell short of the required majority.
He had the support of Xanana Gusmao, the country's first president and current head of the National Congress of Timor-Leste Reconstruction (CNRT). Gusmao has often acted as a kingmaker in Timor-Leste.
Ramos-Horta received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his efforts to facilitate conflict settlement in Timor-Leste. In 2008, he narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.
The next president confronts a difficult challenge in bringing the nation out of poverty. Timor-Leste is still struggling from the economic consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak, with the World Bank estimating that 42 percent of the population lives in poverty.