Lu – Olo pledged to strengthen national unity

mw-860The people of Timor – Leste has chosen a new president. Francisco Guterres Lu – Olo was elected to the fourth president of the republic to Timor – Leste with total valid votes of 295.048 (57.1%) and Antonio da Conceicao with a total of 167.794 (32.5%) and the another valid vote divided into six other candidates.

The presidential election was held on Monday, March 20, 2017, which involve eight candidates running in the election and finally Francisco Guterres Lu – Olo becomes the winner.

Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres, a former guerrilla leader from the leftist Fretilin party, was up against seven other candidates. He and the Democratic Party’s Antonio da Conceicao,  the minister of education and social affairs, were the front-runners.

While East Timor’s president has a mostly ceremonial role, the prime minister heads the government.

Guterres, 62, lost to current President Taur Matan Ruak in the 2012 presidential election. But in Monday’s election, he had strong support from former Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, a resistance leader who remains influential in politics.

Ruak was not up for re-election and is expected to make a run for prime minister in July’s parliamentary elections.

“We have voted based on our own choice,” Ruak said. “I am grateful to all people for a peaceful election. This will result in greatness for our people and the nation.”

East Timor voted overwhelmingly in 1999 to end 24 years of brutal Indonesian occupation that left more than 170,000 people dead.

Its transition to democracy has been rocky, with its leaders battling massive poverty, unemployment, and corruption as the nation continues to recover from the bloody break for independence more than a decade ago.

More than 740,000 of the country’s 1.1 million people were expected to vote Monday. While an early quick count will give a reliable indication of the election outcome within hours of the polls closing at 3 p.m., official results are not expected until Wednesday.

The president of Democratic Party Mariano Asanami Sabino with his Secretary General Antonio da Conceicao meets the elected president Francisco Guterres Lu – Olo to congratulate him today in Dili.

“I am as one of the candidates in the presidential election, I come here together with my president of Democratic Party, I come to congratulate elected president of the republic Francisco Guterres Lu – Olo. We continue to put our respect to him as a resistance leader or former guerilla during the resistance time. This is a big competition and I have accepted the result,” Antonio da Conceicao told the reporters after meet Mr. Lu – Olo in the Central Committee of FRETILIN party in Comoro – Dili.

In the meantime, the elected president of republic Francisco Guterres Lu – Olo says the meeting was with a team from Democratic Party which asking to congratulate to the former president of national parliament that elected to the president of the republic a few days ago.

“I welcome them with my pleasure. They come here to congratulate me to accept the final result of the presidential election,” Lu – Olo says.

He says, he already informs to all of his opponents during the presidential campaign that all the decision is on the people hand, people is decided who is will be their president of the republic.

“I told Antonio da Conceicao that all of us depending on the people decision, this is the democracy. So I am very appreciated because he is accepting the final result,” Lu – Olo says.

“I hope Democratic Party may work hard again to be an alternative party in the future. I do not reject another political party, but my party also do some preparation, so all of the parties prepare to continue the struggle of our heroes to the new generation,” he says.

Lu – Olo vowed Saturday to keep peace and unity as East Timor’s new president, delivering a victory speech after the final tally showed he was on course to win the election.

Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres received 57 percent of the vote in Monday’s election, according to final figures announced late Friday. His main rival, Antonio da Conceicao, got 32 percent. The remaining votes were divided among six other candidates.

The results released by the National Election Office still need to be vetted by the court of appeals before they are official.

While East Timor’s president has a mostly ceremonial role, the prime minister heads the government.

Lu-Olo received a visit from da Conceicao conceding the election soon after the final results were released Friday.

Da Conceicao, the current minister of education and social affairs, said he had accepted the result.

“He was a guerrilla fighter during our resistance time. He deserved the people’s trust and I’ll always respect him,” da Conceicao said of his rival.

Lu-Olo welcomed the concession and gave a victory speech at his residence: “I’ll be president for all people in East Timor, even those who didn’t vote for me,” he told a crowd of supporters. “I’ll keep fighting for peace and unity of our nation.”

Lu-Olo led guerrilla attacks against occupying troops from the hills, rising quickly through the ranks. Eventually, he became the rebels’ top commander.

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