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Xanana ho Taur Matan Ruak Xanana ho Taur Matan Ruak

Xanana Not Visible at Presidential Inauguration, Raising Questions About Allegiance Featured

Dili: The absence of Xanana Gusmão on the main podium during the presidential inauguration on Friday night has raised questions about the popular leader’s allegiance with out-going President Taur Matan Ruak.

 The Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment was visible when he spoke from the podium during the unveiling of a statue to commemorate Timor-Leste’s first President, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, but was uncharacteristically away from the spotlight for the remainder of the ceremony.

Attending members of government were divided about whether the typically high profile Gusmão was even at the inauguration.

Dionísio Babo Soares, the Minister of State, said he “did not know” if Gusmão was attending.

Adérito Hugo da Costa, the President of National Parliament, confirmed he was at the ceremony but  “the public did not see him.”

Based on observations from the Independente, Gusmão was absent among the high profile delegation of veterans and leaders.

Jornal Independente’s attempts to confirm Gusmão’s presence went unanswered at the time of print.

In the up-coming parliamentary elections Ruak is expected to run with his newly formed Peoples Liberation party.

Should the PLP win, Ruak will follow in the footsteps of Gusmão and Jose Ramos Horta who both held presidency and prime minstership.

Francisco “‘Lú-Olo’ ” Guterres, a former guerrilla fighter, was inaugurated as Timor-Leste’s fourth President on Friday.




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