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East Timorese Vote for New Parliament

The people of East Timor are voting for a new parliament amid hopes a new government will bring peace and stability to the poor and volatile nation. VOA's Nancy-Amelia Collins in the capital, Dili, has more.

East Timorese voted Saturday for a new parliament in an election that has shaped up to be a fight between the ruling Fretilin party and the new CNRT party led by former president Xanana Gusmao.

Former prime minister and newly elected president Jose Ramos-Horta says what is most important for the nation is a peaceful election.

"Whichever party wins will be good for Timor if it's peaceful and everybody accepts the verdict of the nation," he said.

East Timor was rocked by violence last year after fighting between security forces degenerated into gang warfare that forced a third of the residents of Dili into makeshift refugee camps.

An Australian-led international peacekeeping force that has been in the country since the government requested help to quell last year's violence is helping to keep order during the election period.