Subject: Ramos-Horta says Gusmao 'lost touch with the people'

ABC News

Ramos-Horta says Gusmao 'lost touch with the people'

Posted 9 hours 49 minutes ago

East Timor's President Jose Ramos-Horta says his predecessor, current Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, fell from popularity because he lost touch with the people.

Dr Ramos-Horta says there was a perception that the Government was alienated from its constituents towards the end of Mr Gusmao's five-year term as president.

Dr Ramos-Horta says Mr Gusmao did not travel enough within the country during his time in power and that contributed to a downturn in public confidence in his leadership.

"In 2001, 2002, 1999, Xanana was untouchable, he was an extraordinary hero," Dr Ramos-Horta said.

"In 2007 when he ran for office with the new party he got 24 per cent of the vote from the 84 that he got five years earlier."

Dr Ramos-Horta's full interview will air tonight on ABC 1's Enough Rope.

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