President (East Timor)

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East Timor Presidential Palace logo.jpg

The President of the Republic ( Portuguese Presidente da República ) is the head of state of East Timor (Timor-Leste).


Francisco Xavier do Amaral at a 2007 election rally

He is elected every five years and can only be re-elected once. All East Timorese who are at least 35 years old and in full possession of their powers can be elected.

The president has more symbolic powers but has a right of veto over legislation. The Council of State is at his side in an advisory capacity . The president awards the mandate to form a government and if the government fails, he can either re-award the mandate or dissolve parliament .

Francisco Xavier do Amaral 1975-1977

Francisco Xavier do Amaral became the first President of East Timor after independence from Portugal was proclaimed on November 28, 1975. He had to flee to the mountains after the Indonesian invasion on December 7th. In 1977 do Amaral was dismissed from FRETILIN because of differences of opinion about how to proceed against the Indonesian crew . In parallel to do Amaral, Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo acted from December 17, 1975 to July 17, 1976 as president of the provisional government set up by the Indonesian occupiers.

Nicolau dos Reis Lobato 1977–1978

In September 1977 the previous Prime Minister Nicolau dos Reis Lobato became nominally President of East Timor. He was injured in the leg by a bullet during the "encirclement" operation and arrested shortly afterwards by the Indonesians on December 31, 1978. Saying "my last bullet is my victory," Lobato shot himself before he could be captured. Other sources report that Lobato was killed by the Indonesian armed forces.

Xanana Gusmão 2002-2007

Xanana Gusmão

In the first presidential election after Indonesia's withdrawal on April 14, 2002, Xanana Gusmão prevailed against Francisco Xavier do Amaral, who ran for the Associação Social-Democrata de Timor ( ASDT ), with 82.7% of the vote. Gusmão, the former head of FRETILIN and the Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense CNRT , is revered as a popular hero. After the statehood of East Timor was achieved as a major goal, Gusmão actually wanted to withdraw from active politics, but then faced the many requests to continue to take a responsible position.

The President's civilian chief of staff (Chefe de Casa Civil) was Ágio Pereira .

Presidential election in East Timor on April 14, 2002
Candidate (party) be right in %
Xanana Gusmão ( independent ) 301,634 82.69
Francisco Xavier do Amaral ( ASDT ) 063,146 17.31
Total (participation: 86%) 364.780 100

José Ramos-Horta 2007–2012

José Ramos Horta

Xanana Gusmão did not want to stand for election in the presidential election on April 9, 2007 , but ran in the parliamentary elections on June 30, 2007 as a candidate for the office of Prime Minister. Eight candidates ran for his successor on April 9, 2007.

First round of presidential elections in East Timor on April 9, 2007
Candidate (party) be right in %
Francisco Lu-Olo Guterres ( FRETILIN ) 112,666 27.89
José Ramos-Horta ( independent ) 088.102 21.81
Fernando La Sama de Araújo ( PD ) 077,459 19.18
Francisco Xavier do Amaral ( ASDT ) 058,125 14.39
Lúcia Lobato ( PSD ) 035,789 08.86
Manuel Tilman ( KOTA ) 016,534 04.09
Avelino Coelho da Silva ( PST ) 008,338 02.06
João Carrascalão ( UDT ) 006,928 01.72
valid votes 403.941 94.56
Total (participation: 81.79%) 427.7120 100

Since none of the candidates was able to collect more than 50% of the votes straight away, there was a runoff election on May 9 between the two candidates with the highest number of votes, Francisco Lu-Olo Guterres and José Ramos-Horta , the Ramos-Horta won with 69%. He was sworn in by Guterres, in his capacity as President of Parliament, on May 20, 2007 as the new President.

Presidential election in East Timor on May 9, 2007
Candidate (party) be right in %
José Ramos-Horta ( independent ) 285,835 69.18
Francisco Lu-Olo Guterres ( FRETILIN ) 127,342 30.82
valid votes 413.177 97.34
Total (participation: 81.00%) 424.4750 100

The non-party José Ramos-Horta was initially foreign minister under the first Prime Minister Marí Alkatiri . When Alkatiri had to resign in 2006 due to the unrest in East Timor , Ramos-Horta took over his office and that of Defense Minister. He resigned from these offices a day before he was sworn in as president.

Until August 8, 2007, Ágio Pereira remained the President's Chief of Staff.

Ramos-Horta was seriously injured in an attack on February 11, 2008 . According to the constitution , the President of Parliament takes over the President's office in the event of illness. Since the President of Parliament Fernando de Araújo was in Portugal at the time , his representative Vicente da Silva Guterres took over the task until de Araújo returned a few days later. On April 16, 2008, Ramos-Horta returned to East Timor from receiving treatment for his injuries in Australia and took office again.

The President's Civilian Chief of Staff (Chefe de Casa Civil) was Gregório de Sousa and, from 2011, Colonel João Miranda was Chefe de Casa Militar .

Taur Matan Ruak 2012-2017

Taur Matan Ruak (2013)

José Ramos-Horta was eliminated in the first round of the presidential election on March 17, 2012 .

Presidential election in East Timor on March 17, 2012
candidate be right in %
Manuel Tilman 007,226 01.56
Taur Matan Ruak 119,462 25.71
Francisco Guterres Lú-Olo 133,635 28.76
Francisco Xavier do Amaral before the ballot
Rogerio Lobato 016,219 03.49
María do Céu 001,843 00.40
Angelita Pires 001,742 00.37
José Ramos-Horta 081,231 17.48
Francisco Gomes 003,531 00.76
José Luís Guterres 009,235 01.99
Abílio Araújo 006,294 01.35
Lucas da Costa 003,862 00.83
Fernando La Sama de Araújo 080.381 17.30
Angela Freitas
not eligible for election
valid votes 464,6610 100
invalid votes 018,788 03.83
blank ballot papers 006,484 01.32
Total (participation: 78.20%) 489.9330

Ramos-Horta's successor was chosen on April 16 between Taur Matan Ruak and Francisco Guterres . Taur Matan Ruak clearly won the election.

Presidential election in East Timor on April 16, 2012
(preliminary final result)
Taur Matan Ruak
( independent )
Francisco Guterres
Aileu 13,851 70.76% 05,725 29.24%
Ainaro 15,602 67.19% 07,617 32.81%
Baucau 25,701 47.93% 27,917 52.07%
Bobonaro 27,284 70.01% 11,689 29.99%
Cova Lima 15,755 62.58% 09,421 37.42%
Dili 56,377 65.79% 29,316 34.21%
Ermera 31,042 67.06% 15,246 32.94%
Lautém 13,555 50.40% 13,340 49.60%
Liquiçá 17,426 64.19% 09,723 35.81%
Manatuto 14,480 73.55% 05,208 26.45%
Manufahi 11,423 54.18% 09,660 45.82%
Oe-Cusse Ambeno 21,252 75.92% 06,740 24.08%
Viqueque 11,693 33.92% 22,784 66.08%
East Timor
(Official Final Score)
275,471 61.23% 174,408 38.77%
valid votes 449,879 ( 98.08% )
invalid votes 006,801 (1.48%)
blank ballot papers 002,023 (0.44%)
Votes cast 458,703 ( turnout 73.12% )

Taur Matan Ruak's chief of staff was Fidelis Leite Magalhães from 2012 to 2015 . He was followed by Rui August Gomes . Taur Matan Ruak saw himself after the VI. East Timor’s constitutional government effectively gave an all-party coalition in the role of the controlling opposition. He vetoed the 2016 budget, which Parliament unanimously rejected. There was also dispute over the occupation of the post of military commander-in-chief, while Taur Matan Ruak accused senior government officials of corruption. However, the president was unable to assert his demands.

As he had promised, Taur Matan Ruak succeeded in being the first president to visit all 442 sucos in the country during his tenure, which earned him a lot of popularity.

Francisco Guterres since May 20, 2017

Francisco Lú-Olo Guterres (2020)
Guterres in Suai (2019)

In the third attempt, Francisco Lú-Olo Guterres from FRETILIN won the 2017 presidential election in the first round. Incumbent Taur Matan Ruak was no longer running because he wants to run in the 2017 parliamentary elections. Guterres' inauguration took place on May 20, 2017 at midnight.

Preliminary final result of the presidential election in East Timor on March 20, 2017
candidate be right in %
Antonio Maher Lopes ( PST ) 009,098 01.76
Francisco Lu-Olo Guterres ( FRETILIN ) 294,938 57.08
Amorim Vieira ( independent ) 004,279 00.83
José Samala-Rua Neves ( independent ) 011,662 02.26
José Luís Lugu Guterres ( independent, FM chairman ) 013,513 02.62
Angela Freitas ( PT ) 004,353 00.84
Luís Mau-Hunu Alves Tilman ( independent ) 011,124 02.15
António Kalohan da Conceição ( PD ) 167.760 32.47
valid votes 516,727 97.71
invalid votes 009,176 01.74
blank ballot papers 002,910 00.55
Total (turnout: 71.16%) 528.8130
Group picture during the accreditation of the German ambassador Peter Schoof . Next to the ambassador in the middle, President Francisco Guterres , far left Francisco Maria de Vasconcelos , far right Colonel António Soares da Silva

The President's civilian chief of staff (Chefe de Casa Civil) is Francisco Maria de Vasconcelos , succeeding interim chief Ana Pessoa Pinto . Chefe de Casa Militar is Colonel António Soares da Silva ("Mau Kalo").

Guterres initially had to deal with the 7th constitutional government of East Timor and a minority government led by his FRETILIN. Although she was unable to assert herself with her program or the budget in parliament, Guterres refused the opposition alliance , which held the majority of the seats, the mandate to form a government. Instead, he ordered new elections. The omission of the parliamentary majority by President Guterres was rated by commentators and political scientists as an "attack on democracy". He and Prime Minister Alkatiri were accused of “stubbornness” and “arrogance”.

The previous opposition alliance again won an absolute majority in parliament in the parliamentary elections in East Timor in 2018 and is now the new government . However, President Guterres denied several proposed candidates the appointment of government members because of “ethical deficits.” In return, the parliamentary majority denied Guterres permission to make state visits and other business trips abroad until the dispute is resolved. Chief of Staff Vasconcelos represents Guterres on foreign appointments.

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Law on the Election of the President ( English ) (PDF file, 193 kB)
  2. ^ Rui Graça Feijó: Timor-Leste: is Díli on (Political) Fire Again? , Presidental Power, December 11, 2017 , accessed December 11, 2017.
  3. Psephos Adam Carr's Election Archive
  4. a b Lusa: Decisão do CNRT implica saída de Agio Pereira, veterano da governação em Timor-Leste , 23 May 2020 , accessed on 24 May 2020.
  5. ^ April 18, 2007, Two set to square off for presidency
  6. ^ Adelaide now, April 19, 2007, Losing candidates appeal election results
  7. East Timor Legal Information Site ( Memento of the original from June 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. National Electoral Commission: Official final result (Tetum) ( Memento from June 21, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 22 kB)
  9. Jornal da República: Decreto do Presidente da República nº 50/2012 de 19 de Maio , accessed on April 29, 2020.
  10. Presidential Decree 17/2018 of May 30, 2018.
  11. CNE: Rezultadu definitivo primeira eleisaun presidencial , March 26, 2012  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  12. STAE: Rezultadu Provisorio Total Huosi 13 Distritu . Archived from the original on January 13, 2013 ; accessed on January 4, 2016 .
  13. CNE: Rezultadu definitivo segunda volta eleizaun presidencial  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  14. Tatoli: KSDS Hahu Diskute Seguransa Nasional , accessed on May 28, 2018.
  15. Jornál da República: DECRETO DO PRESIDENTE DA REPÚBLICA N.º 46/2017 & DECRETO DO PRESIDENTE DA REPÚBLICA N.º 47/2017 , May 24, 2017 , accessed on November 11, 2018.
  16. ↑ The President's Facebook page: PRESS RELEASE - FRANCISCO MARIA DE VASCONCELOS PARTICIPATES IN UNGA HIGH-LEVEL MEETING AS THE PR'S SPECIAL ENVOY , April 7, 2019 , accessed on April 8, 2019.