Nobel winner Jose Ramos-Horta sworn in as East Timor president | Politics News

New president pledges to cut back poverty, enhance well being providers for moms and youngsters, and restore political stability.

Former independence fighter and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in as president of East Timor forward of celebrations marking the twentieth anniversary of independence for Asia’s youngest nation.

Crowds cheered late Thursday night time as Ramos-Horta travelled by motorcade to parliament, the place a ceremony kicked off nationwide festivities commemorating East Timor’s 2002 independence from Indonesia, which invaded the previous Portuguese colony in 1975.

Ramos-Horta, 72, who led the resistance throughout Indonesia’s occupation, referred to as for nationwide reconciliation and unity as he took the oath of workplace shortly earlier than midnight native time  the time that the nation declared independence 20 years in the past.

“Immediately greater than ever, we should be totally conscious that solely in unity will be capable of obtain the event targets that we suggest,” Ramos-Horta stated.

The brand new president pledged to cut back poverty, enhance well being providers for moms and youngsters, and promote a dialogue to revive political stability. He stated he expects East Timor to grow to be the eleventh member of the regional bloc the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) within the subsequent two years.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Indonesian Coordinating Minister of Political, Regulation and Safety Affairs Mohammad Mahfud had been amongst those that attended the inauguration.

Ramos-Horta defeated incumbent Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres, his fellow independence fighter, in an April 19 election runoff.  Ramos-Horta, who was prime minister from 2006 to 2007 and president from 2007 to 2012, and Guterres have blamed one another for years of political paralysis in East Timor.

Dwelling in exile for nearly three a long time and returning to East Timor on the finish of 1999, Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, together with Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, in recognition of their work “towards a simply and peaceable resolution to the battle” within the nation.

“He is a good hero within the period of our wrestle for independence,” Aderito Herin Martins, a resident of the capital, Dili, stated of Ramos-Horta.

“Now it’s time for him to work on the vital problems with poverty and unemployment that also face our nation as he promised in his marketing campaign.”

East Timor’s transition to a democracy has been rocky, with leaders battling large poverty, unemployment and corruption because the nation continues to wrestle with the legacy of its bloody independence battle and bitter factional politics which have often erupted into violence.

The nation’s financial system is reliant on dwindling offshore oil revenues.

The United Nations estimates that almost half of East Timor’s inhabitants lives beneath the intense poverty line of $1.90 a day, and for each 1,000 infants born within the nation, 42 die earlier than their fifth birthday due to malnutrition.

Residents voted overwhelmingly for independence in a 1999 referendum held beneath UN auspices, regardless of widespread Indonesian intimidation and violence.

The vote had been unexpectedly supplied by an overconfident Indonesian authorities following a long-running however largely fruitless resistance wrestle. Indonesia’s navy responded to the referendum outcomes with a scorched-earth marketing campaign that left East Timor devastated. Australia spearheaded a UN navy mission to revive order from the chaos because the Indonesian forces left.

It took virtually three extra years for the half-island nation of simply over a million folks to grow to be an impartial and sovereign nation on Might 20, 2002.

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