East Timor appeared set to name Nobel prize-winner Jose Ramos-Horta as new prime minister Saturday, officials said, a move that could help usher in political stability ahead of elections next year.
The country has been left without a functioning government since Mari Alkatiri resigned as prime minister last month amid allegations that he formed hit squads to kill his political opponents.
At least 30 people were killed and 150,000 others forced from their homes in the worst wave of unrest to hit the country since it voted for independence from Indonesia seven years ago.
Ramos-Horta - presently the foreign, defense and interior minister - won the Nobel prize for his nonviolent work toward ending Indonesia's occupation of East Timor. He could be formally named prime minister as early as Saturday, officials said.