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Preliminary Results Show E.Timor's Ruling Party Winner in Weekend Poll


Preliminary results in East Timor's parliamentary elections show the ruling Fretilin party has won the largest number of votes, but not enough for an outright majority in the weekend ballot.

Election officials say the Fretilin party won 29 percent of the vote in Saturday's poll. Former President Xanana Gusmao's new party, the National Congress for the Reconstruction of East Timor, or CNRT, followed with around 24 percent.

Both the Fretilin party and the CNRT have begun the process of trying to build a coalition with other smaller political parties. Fretilin party leaders say they are unwilling to discuss a coalition with the CNRT.

Both parties could forge an alliance with some of the 12 other parties that participated in the race for seats in the 65-member parliament.

Nearly half a million people voted Saturday. The process was mostly peaceful, and the European Union observer mission says the election was generally free and fair.

East Timor gained independence from Indonesia in 2002. Since then, it has struggled with unrest and poverty.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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