Leaders

Francisco Guterres

Francisco Guterres

Francisco Guterres, popularly known as Lú-Olo , is an East Timorese politician who has been President of East Timor since 2017. He is also the President of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), and he was President of the National Parliament of East Timor from 2002 to 2007. As the FRETILIN candidate, he stood in the 2007 presidential election and 2012 presidential election, but was defeated in the second round by independent candidates on both occasions. He also contested the 2017 presidential election, and with the support of former Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and his party, National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT), he was elected as President.

Francisco Guterres
Francisco Guterres
 
4th President of East Timor
Incumbent
Assumed office
20 May 2017
Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo

Mari Alkatiri

Preceded by Taur Matan Ruak
President of the National Parliament of East Timor
In office
20 May 2002 – 8 August 2007
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Fernando de Araújo
Personal details
Born 7 September 1954 
Ossu, Portuguese Timor
(now East Timor)
Political party Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor

Life and career

Born in Ossu in 1954, Guterres has described himself as “the son of a poor family, of humble people”. He is a Roman Catholic and a former guerrilla fighter. At an Extraordinary Conference of FRETILIN in Sydney, Australia in 1998, Guterres was named General Coordinator of the Council of Armed Resistance. In July 2001, he was elected President of FRETILIN. Guterres was elected to the Constituent Assembly in the August 2001 parliamentary election, and he was subsequently elected by the Constituent Assembly as its President; when East Timor gained its independence in May 2002, the Constituent Assembly was transformed into the National Parliament, with Guterres as its President.

In the 2007 presidential election, Guterres ran as FRETILIN’s candidate and campaigned on a populist platform. However, some members of FRETILIN blamed him for the 2006 East Timorese crisis and instead supported Prime Minister José Ramos-Horta, who was running as an independent candidate. In the first round of the election, held on 9 April, Guterres took first place with 27.89% of the vote. He and Ramos-Horta participated in the second round in May, and Guterres lost with 31% of the vote against 69% for Ramos-Horta. He accepted the result and congratulated Ramos-Horta.

Guterres was re-elected to parliament in the June 2007 parliamentary election as the first name on FRETILIN’s candidate list.

In the 2017 presidential election, Guterres ran again as the FRETILIN candidate, with the support of former Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão and his party, National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT). Early results indicated that he won more than 50% of votes in the first round. Guterres took office on 20 May 2017 as the first elected partisan President of East Timor.

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