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Postscript to East Timor Presidential Elections

Nobel Laureate and East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta conceded defeat in the recently concluded presidential elections. The top two candidates are Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres of the leftist Fretilin party and former military chief Taur Matan Ruak. They will both compete in the run-off elections next month.

Former President Ramos Horta conceding defeat in the elections. Photo from Twitter page of Brian Thomson

Former President Ramos Horta conceding defeat in the elections. Photo from Twitter page of Brian Thomson

Alex Tilman of Di'ak Ka Lae? recognizes the peaceful conduct of elections:

The presidential election has been a success so far, and conducted in an atmosphere of peace and optimism, with a palpable desire to show the world the great leap Timor-Leste has taken since self-rule

There is a general mood of triumph in these messages and others like them, hand in hand with the most basic of expectations a people can ask of their leaders. By taking part in this election peacefully and enthusiastically, the people of Timor-Leste have shown the world, and more importantly, proved themselves before their leaders that they are conscious of their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and they want nothing more than a democratic country where they can exercise their choices freely and follow whatever dreams they may have. Now it is up to their elected leader to make good of his or her promises, and lead them towards a better future.

The author also gathers reactions from voters who are satisfied with the election turnout. Below are the reactions of Estanislau Saldanha, Abuty Soares, and Josh Trindade (translations provided by Alex Tilman).

Estanislau Saldanha praises the victory of Timorese citizens:

It is not the victory of presidential candidates, but rather the victory of Timorese people because the presidential election was going on safely and peacefully. We need to come together in delivering our prayer to the god in order to achieve a peaceful, safe and prosperous situation for the people and the nation of Timor Leste.

Abuty Soares notes the absence of violence during the election period:

Many congratulations and respect for the people of Timor-Leste (grandparents, uncles and aunts, and the youth, as well as the politicians) who took part in the first round of presidential election yesterday in Timor-Leste. The greatest success in this election is peace. Yesterday you showed your love for this country to take part in the election, removed from violence. With this event, it is our hope that Timor-Leste will be better than what it had always been. Viva Timor-Leste.

Josh Trindade notes that the international media has not been providing adequate coverage of the historic presidential elections:

Congratulations to all Timorese who took part in the campaign and the ballot peacefully and calmly! Let's change the depiction from violence to peace… We note that the international media is not providing an adequate coverage during the campaign and election process, which has been marked with peacefulness. I am proud as a TIMORESE!

Vote counting center. Photo from Twitter page of Edward Rees

Vote counting center. Photo from Twitter page of Edward Rees

Here are some Twitter reactions using the hashtag #eleisaun2012:

@meaganweymes: lu olo says ‘support is coming in from everywhere’ RE other candidates supporting him in second round election

@ashbetteridge: a thing that struck me about the campaigns here over the past week or so is that they are predominately male #eleisaun2012

@malaebulak: Will President Jose Ramos Horta pardon anyone before he leaves office?

@MikhailShoaib: President Jose Ramos-Horta, I admire your humility.

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