East Timor's Ramos Horta ready to step down

AP News
Posted: Mar 18, 2012 11:57 AM
East Timor's Ramos Horta ready to step down

Jose Ramos Horta has indicated he's ready to step down as East Timor's president after a poor showing in weekend elections.

The official results from the first round of voting won't be announced until Tuesday.

But with more than 60 percent of the ballots counted, the Nobel laureate had nowhere near the support needed to advance to an April 21 run-off between the two front-runners.

Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres of the traditionally strong leftist Fretilin party was leading Sunday with 28 percent of the vote. Former military chief Taur Matan Ruak followed with 25 percent.

Ramos Horta had only 18 percent but said he wasn't disappointed.

He says both men are capable of ensuring peace and stability for the tiny nation, which was his only real concern.