|Subject: Tempo: Xanana Will not Seek Second
Term as President
Xanana Will not Seek Second Term as President Wednesday, 17 January, 2007 | 14:32 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Dili: President of Timor Leste Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao yesterday (01/16) announced he would not seek a second term as president.
"On May 20, the mandate of the State Sovereignty Council will come to an end, and I will not run for presidential office in the next period," said Xanana.
"Let someone take the position for the sake of the country's success,' said Xanana after delivering a final message to the diplomatic corps of Timor Leste at the Presidential Office in Dili.
After five years as President, this is the second time that Xanana has stated his reluctance to seek a second term.
Previously, in an interview in the January 4 edition of Time magazine, Xanana also stated that he would no longer run for presidential office.
In the meeting with the diplomats, Xanana also discussed the political situation in the upcoming general election.
He has asked both them and the international community to still help his country run the process of democracy.
Xanana has also asked that the UN forces in Timor Leste do not only assist in terms of human rights and justice aspects, but also the process of the general election.
He also thanked the countries that have helped his security officers in recovering the country's stability.
In addition, President Xanana has also thanked the Republic of Indonesia.
"Although the country is being surrounded by troubles, it still aided the people of Timor Leste during the political crisis," he said.
JOSE SARITO AMARAL (DILI) | TIME | IWANK
Gusmao to run for parliament, but not president
January 17, 2007
EAST Timorese President Xanana Gusmao will not recontest presidential elections scheduled for April but is expected to run for parliament.
The former resistance leader took office in 2002 as the country's first democratically elected president after a quarter of century of Indonesian occupation.
Senior East Timorese political leaders have said for some time that Mr Gusmao was unlikely to stand for re-election, but yesterday a reliable diplomatic source close to the presidency said his plans involved standing for parliament.
"Xanana is considering running for national parliament, either with a group of parties or a new party," the source said. "He feels he still wants to contribute to democracy and the well-being of the country and one way to do that is through the parliament and not necessarily by having a second term as president."
The Australian understands Fretilin wants a former supporter of integration with Indonesia, Abilio Araujo, a founder of the Timorese Nationalist Party, to run in the April elections.
A virtual political unknown, he is regarded as an outside chance.
But a presidential vacancy would pave the way for current interim Prime Minister Jose Ramos Horta, a Nobel peace laureate and warmly regarded by the Australian Government.
It is understood that Mr Gusmao was hurt by accusations from a UN inquiry of unwarranted political interference in his handling of last year's violence.
Mr Gusmao, 60, has previously signalled support for East Timor's opposition Democratic Party.
He is no friend of the ruling Fretilin, which is still seething at his role in forcing the resignation of prime minister Mari Alkatiri on June 26 over allegations he helped arm a political hit squad to liquidate political opponents.
Mr Gusmao is best known for his leadership of Fretilin's military wing, Falintil. He assumed command of the guerilla movement in 1978 after the assassination by Indonesian forces of his predecessor, Nicolau Lobato.
In November 1992, Mr Gusmao was arrested in Dili by Indonesian authorities and sentenced the following year to life imprisonment. While in Jakarta's Cipinang Prison, he met his future second wife, Australian aid worker and independence activist Kirsty Sword.
After East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia in a bloody UN-brokered referendum on August 30, 1999, Mr Gusmao was released and returned from exile to a hero's welcome in Dili.
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