Nobel Peace Prize (1996) awardee Jose Ramos-Horta, East Timor’s current president, has lost his bid for re-election, failing to make it to a run-off in the country’s 2nd presidential vote as a free nation, preliminary results showed. Ramos-Horta, who became world famous for his efforts to bring peace to his homeland, lagged in 3rd place after more than 70% of votes were counted on March 18. In May, East Timor will celebrate 10 years of independence from Indonesia, and in June, voters will choose a new government in a general election. By end-2012, this nation of 1.1 million people will bid goodbye to UN forces stationed in the country since 1999.
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