East Timor's ruling Fretilin party kept a slight lead Tuesday with about half the votes counted after weekend legislative elections in the nation, the official tally showed.
About half a million people voted to choose a new 65-seat parliament as East Timor tries to start a new chapter following a tumultuous past year scarred by deadly unrest.
Former president Xanana Gusmao, considered a hero by many for his battle to win East Timor's independence from occupying Indonesia, founded a new party for the election in a bid to wrest control from the dominant Fretilin.
But Gusmao's National Congress of East Timor's Reconstruction (CNRT), on22.1 percent, trails Fretilin's 30.1 percent share with almost 250,000 ballots counted, the election commission's website showed.
The Association of Timorese Democrats-Social Democrat Party (ASDT-PSD) coalition was third with 16.7 percent, followed by the Democrat Party (PD) with 11.6 percent.
As expected, neither Fretilin nor the CNRT are on track to win the absolute majority of seats required to govern.
But CNRT is seen as likely entering a coalition with the ASDT-PSD and PD, though no formal agreement has been struck and the UN has warned of reading too much into early results.
Last Mod: 03 Temmuz 2007, 13:53