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Gusmao named East Timor PM
Anger as independence hero chosen to head new government.
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2007 12:12 GMT
Violence erupted after the announcement [AFP]
Xanana Gusmao has been appointed East Timor's new prime minister, ending more than a year of political limbo following violence that brought down the government.
 
The president, Jose Ramos-Horta, used his constitutional right to choose the next government after parliamentary elections in June failed to produce an outright winner.
"Today I made a decision that the alliance form the government. The alliance has appointed Xanana to become prime minister," Ramos-Horta said.
 
Violence erupted after the announcement and security forces fired tear gas to disperse rock-throwing gangs in the capital, Dili, AFP reported.
CNRT, a party founded this year by Gusmao, declared a coalition with other parties in the 65-member parliament after no single party won a majority in elections on June 30.
 
"Gusmao will be sworn in as prime minister on Wednesday," Ramos-Horta said.
 
Opposition anger
 
The former ruling party Fretilin had also claimed the right to govern.
 
Australian troops remain on
the streets of Dili [Reuters]
Fretilin won the most seats in the election but is in the minority as it holds fewer seats than Gusmao's party plus its coalition partners.
 
It insists that as the largest single party it has the right to form a government.
 
Mari Alkatiri, the party's leader and former prime minister said: "We regard it as a political and illegal decision and as such Fretilin will not work with this government."
 
But Ramos-Horta called for all East Timorese to accept his  announcement.
"As a president, an older brother and a Nobel peace laureate, I want to call on the people to accept this decision because all are winners - there is not a single party who lost," he said.
 
"Fretilin is a very important party at the parliament which will become the best opposition because it has experience and the capacity for that."
 
Gusmao, a hero of the country's independence struggle, holds a clear majority in the 63-seat parliament with his coalition and will be able to govern without Fretilin support.
 
Foreign troops remain in East Timor to maintain security in the wake of street unrest in April and May 2007 that left at least 37 people dead.
Source:
Agencies
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