Ex-guerrilla fighter declared East Timor president

Apr 23, 2012, 10:20 AM

DILI, East Timor (AP) – Official election results have named a former guerrilla fighter who became East Timor’s army chief as the nation’s new president.

The Supreme Court of Appeal which has to vet election results announced Monday that Taur Matan Ruak had won the April 16 run-off.

Court chief Claudio Ximenes says Ruak won 61.2 percent of the votes, defeating rival Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres.

Ruak’s real name is Jose Maria Vasconcelos but he is known by his nom de guerre. He takes office May 20 and replaces Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta, who lost in the first round of voting.

The president has no real power.

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

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Ex-guerrilla fighter declared East Timor president