Can Independence Hero Xanana Gusmao Guide East Timor Out of Political Chaos?

East Timorese independence hero Xanana Gusmao, center, waves a national flag in Dili, East Timor, March 11, 2018 (AP photo by Valentino Darriel).
East Timorese independence hero Xanana Gusmao, center, waves a national flag in Dili, East Timor, March 11, 2018 (AP photo by Valentino Darriel).

After months of political turmoil in East Timor, a new six-party coalition government led by Xanana Gusmao, a former president and independence hero, and his National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction, or CNRT, is set to take office. The previous government, led by Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak, collapsed after failing to pass a budget in January. President Francisco Guterres must now decide whether to accept Ruak’s resignation and install the new government. But even if he does, the new CNRT-led coalition could be difficult to manage, says Michael Leach, an expert on East Timor’s politics at Swinburne University of Technology […]

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