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Officials: Major Voting Irregularities Plague East Timor Presidential Election


Election officials in East Timor say there were many "inconsistencies" in the country's presidential election last Monday.

The reported inconsistencies range from poor organization to discrepancies between the number of voters and the votes cast. Several districts, including the capital, Dili, had problems.

A spokesman for the National Electoral Commission Martinho Gusmao told a news conference Friday that voting officials have just 72 hours to resolve the issues before official results are announced on Monday. Election officials have rejected a request from several candidates for a recount.

Unofficial results show ruling party Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta and parliament chief Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres will be competing in a runoff election.

East Timor has been struggling to strengthen its democracy since voting for independence from Indonesia in 1999.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.