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East Timor holds run-off vote for new president
East Timor holds run-off vote for new president; winner to lead as UN peacekeepers leave
By The Associated Press

DILI, East Timor (AP) ' East Timor is choosing a president to steer the young nation after U.N. peacekeeping troops begin their planned withdrawal later this year.

The two candidates in Monday's election are Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres and Taur Matan Ruak.

Both are former guerrillas who played key roles in East Timor's 1999 break for independence following a quarter-century of often brutal Indonesian occupation.



Though the role of presidency is largely ceremonial in East Timor, the winner will help lead the country at a crucial time. If general elections in July are peaceful, thousands of peacekeepers can start to go home.

The road to democracy has not been easy. The country has suffered from massive poverty, social unrest and violent disputes between soldiers and police.


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