IB2017/10 Timor-Leste’s Presidential Election: Several Firsts, but no Generational Change

SSGM In Brief

Author/s (editor/s):

Sue Ingram

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In Brief

The original version of this In Brief was first published on 29 March 2017 under a Creative Commons Licence by the Australian Institute of International Affairs.

Timor-Leste’s presidential election on 20 March produced a number of firsts. For the first time, a candidate from a political party rather than an independent has been elected; for the first time since Timor-Leste became a nation in 2002, a candidate has won office in the first round of voting; for the first time, an election was conducted without the logistical and security support of a United Nations (UN) peacekeeping mission deployed in the country; and for the first time, some out-of-country Timorese were able to vote. But in one important respect this election marks more of the same: once again, a senior figure from Timor-Leste’s historical resistance movement has won the office of president.

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