Troubled East Timor goes to the polls

May 9, 2007 02:03


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Voting began Wednesday in presidential elections in East Timor, a critical step in Asia's newest nation following violence last year that took it to the brink of civil war. Around 500,000 people are eligible to vote in the polls, which pit Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta against Fransisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres, an ex-guerrilla who spent years in the jungles fighting Indonesian rule. Hundreds of people lined up since before dawn at polling booths in the capital Dili. Voting began soon after 0700 a.m local time, with polling staff give the first chance to cast ballots. The vote follows balloting last month that ended without an outright winner.

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