East Timor is electing a new president in a run-off vote between two former freedom fighters, ahead of a decade of independence next month. Opposition leader Francisco Guterres and former guerrilla leader Taur Matan Ruak are pitted against each other. The incumbent, President Jose Ramos-Horta, admitted defeat after trailing in third place in the first round of the election last month. Mr Ramos-Horta said he would hand over power to the winner on 19 May.
Both Mr Guterres and Mr Ruak played key roles in the country’s struggle for independence from more than 20 years of Indonesian occupation. Mr Guterres won the most votes in the first round of polling, while Mr Ruak is backed by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. The presidency is a largely ceremonial role, but the election comes in a year of transition with United Nations peacekeepers scheduled to leave by the end of the year.
Full Article: BBC News – East Timor in presidential run-off election.