Subject: RT: East Timor Swears In Interim Prime Minister

East Timor Swears In Interim Prime Minister

Estanislau Aleixo da Silva was sworn in on Saturday as the tiny nation's interim prime minister.


Estanislau Aleixo da Silva, a member of East Timor's ruling Fretilin party and a former deputy prime minister, was sworn in on Saturday as the tiny nation's interim prime minister until next month's parliamentary election.

Da Silva replaces Nobel Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta who was elected president after sweeping a run-off with nearly 70 percent of the votes. Ramos-Horta will be sworn in as the country's second president at a ceremony in Dili on Sunday.

Ramos-Horta's victory has raised hopes of greater stability in a nation still struggling to heal divisions five years after it won independence from Indonesia.

"This government has a short time ... I have no promises but during my leadership I will focus on security issue, and create conditions for the legislative election," da Silva told reporters after a swearing-in ceremony.

Outgoing President Xanana Gusmao will run for the more hands-on post of prime minister in parliamentary polls on June 30.

Violence erupts sporadically in East Timor, but the run-off between Ramos-Horta and parliament chief Francisco Guterres, president of the dominant Fretilin party, was peaceful.

Guterres conceded defeat and urged his supporters to accept the result.

Gang fights have broken out in East Timor in the past week, but officials say it is not clear if the violence was linked to the presidential run-off.

Local and U.N. police have stepped up patrols in and outside Dili to prevent further violence as tensions between rival political groups continue to simmer.

International observers said the presidential run-off was conducted freely and fairly, after the first round a month ago was marred by complaints of widespread irregularities.

East Timor voted for independence from Indonesian rule in a violence-marred referendum in 1999. It became fully independent in 2002 after a period of U.N. administration.

Published: May19, 200713:04h


Saturday May 19, 3:10 PM

New ETimor PM sworn in

DILI (AFP) - Estanislau Aleixo da Silva was sworn in Saturday as East Timor's interim prime minister, succeeding Jose Ramos Horta, who was elected president of the tiny state in a landslide earlier this month.

Aleixo da Silva, a member of the ruling Fretilin party, will only serve until next month's parliamentary elecitons, in which outgoing president Xanana Gusmao is widely tipped to become the next prime minister.

"I feel honoured that I am trusted by my party as well as by President Xanana to hold the post of prime minister," he told reporters after a ceremony at the presidential palace, presided over by Gusmao.

"I do not want to make many promises as it's only for a brief period. I only want to promise you that I'll work hard to create good conditions for the next election, to enable Timorese people to exercise their voting rights."

Aleixo da Silva previously served as deputy prime minister and agriculture minister

He confirmed rumours that foreign minister Luis Guterres had been sacked, without offering further details.

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