FORMER liberation movement guerilla leader Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres expressed confidence yesterday that he would win East Timor’s vote for a new president at the first hurdle.
The candidate of the Fretilin (National Liberation Front of East Timor) party is up against seven candidates, the most prominent of whom is Education and Social Affairs Minister Antonio da Conceicao, representing the Democratic Party.
East Timor’s president has a mostly ceremonial role, with the prime minister heading the government.
Mr Guterres, 62, lost to current President Taur Matan Ruak in the 2012 election but he was supported in yesterday’s contest by former prime minister Xanana Gusmao, a fellow former resistance leader who remains influential.
“I am confident that I will win in this election in one round, but I’ll accept whatever is the result,” said Mr Guterres.
Mr Ruak is expected to be a candidate for prime minister in July’s parliamentary elections. Official results are not expected until tomorrow.