Breaking News: Xanana Gusmao Resigns as East Timor’s Prime Minister

Breaking News – The prime minister of East Timor, Xanana Gusmao has forwarded a letter of resignation to the president. Meanwhile the head of state is now deciding whether he accepts the offer to step down, the government said.
Gusmao, 68, has served as prime minister since 2002 after East Timor became independent, after 24-years struggle against Indonesian occupation.

Gusmao’s resignation would deprive East Timor of unifying leader who has helped resolve various crises, but analysts say it is time for Gusmao to step aside to start the transition to a new generation of leaders.

Gusmao “has sent his letter of resignation from the post of prime minister to the president,” president Taur Matan Ruak, said in a government statement on Friday. It is now for the president of the republic to consider and respond to the letter of his resignation.

It is not clear what role, if any, Gusmao would play in government if his resignation is accepted, or who will take over.

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