Subject: AFP: ETimor's top court endorses election results

ETimor's top court endorses election results

DILI, July 11 (AFP) -- Judges at East Timor's top court on Thursday officially endorsed the results of the country's legislative elections, the court's chairman said.

The results saw the ruling Fretilin party secure 29 percent of the vote, trailed by a new organisation set up by independence hero Xanana Gusmao, which won 24 percent.

"The collective judges of the Court of Appeal have decided that the national legislative elections of June 30, 2007, were lawful," Court of Appeal president Claudio Ximenes said.

"The count done by the commission is correct," he told journalists at his office, referring to results from the vote count done by the National Election Commission.

Under East Timor's law, election results are only official once the court endorses them.

President Jose Ramos-Horta is meeting with leaders to resolve an impasse created by the failure of any one party winning an outright majority.

The constitution is ambiguous on whether the party that wins the most votes has the right to form government, or a coalition of smaller parties does if it together won an absolute majority.

Gusmao's party has formed a coalition with three smaller parties that together hold 37 seats in the parliament and have proposed forming a government.

The polls followed more than a year of simmering political tension in the impoverished half-island nation, which gained its independence in 2002 after a bloody separation from occupying Indonesia three years earlier.

------------------------------------------ Joyo Indonesia News Service

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