Dili, Timor-Leste, 31.1.2012
FRETILIN President Lu Olo Officially Nominates for Timor's 2012 Presidential race
Dr. Francisco Guterres Lu Olo, FRETILIN's party president and former Speaker of the Timor-Leste National Parliament (2002-2007) today filed his nomination forms as a candidate for this year's presidential election with the Court of Appeal in Dili as required by the Presidential Election Law.
His nomination is supported by signatures from 22,970 registered voters from every district and sub-district in the country, despite the law only requiring 5,000 signatories in support.
He was accompanied by FRETILIN Secretary General, Dr. Mari Alkatiri and his Campaign Legal Representatives, FRETILIN Assistant Secretary General and MP, Ms Josefa Pereira, Ms Joana Vasconcelhos and Mr. Luis Lobato, as well as other FRETILIN leaders.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Dr. Claudio Ximenes certified receipt of the documents required under law on behalf of the the Court.
"I start out as my party’s candidate, but will be President for all the People of Timor-Leste. As president I will do my utmost to be the symbol and promoter of our national sovereignty and unity," Lu Olo told journalists.
Dr. Lu Olo has sought temporary leave from his post of President of FRETILIN for the duration of the elections and has undertaken that if elected as President of the Republic, he will seek the suspension of his post as party president, to serve the People and Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste as impartially and faithfully as he can as head of state.
Dr. Lu Olo won by a substantial number of votes the first round of the 2007 presidential election, with current President Jose Ramos Horta coming a clear second, but was defeated in the run off election, when Mr. Horta was able to secure the support of the other candidates.
"I feel confident that the people of Timor-Leste will determine the next head of state in good conscience and freely. I have shown once already in 2007 that I know how to accept their verdict gracefully. I look forward to a positive and constructive campaign from everyone, and have called on all candidates to ensure that we campaign and win or lose in a way that contributes to strengthening peace, stability and national unity. What our people want most of all and fully deserve is peace and stability. It is up to each and everyone of us as head of state candidates to provide this in any way we can at every opportunity, including during this campaign," Lu Olo stressed.
Dr. Lu Olo was born in Ossu in Viqueque district in the country’s east on 7 September 1954 and joined FRETILIN in 1974. He subsequently spent 24 years during the Indonesian occupation in the mountains and jungles of Timor-Leste fighting for the country’s freedom.
After the 1999 UN sponsored referendum that resulted in Indonesia's withdrawal, Lu Olo left his armed resistance days behind him and concentrated on building his party FRETILIN, which he had led since 1997. He was elected its President in 2001, that same year leading FRETILIN to victory in the constituent assembly elections. He has been re-elected to FRETILIN’s top job on two occasions since, in May 2006 and in August 2011, the latter by way of Timor-Leste's first direct election by party members of its leadership. Over 165,000 FRETILIN members voted in the internal national party elections held on 20 August 2011.
Dr. Lu Olo has spent the last six years studying for a law degree and will be admitted to practice law in April this year. He will be the first veteran of the armed resistance in Timor-Leste to have done so.
Lu Olo is married to Cidália Lopes Guterres, and the couple has three children, Francisco Cidalino Guterres (Olo Kai), Eldino Nobre Guterres and Felezito Samora Guterres.
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