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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 February 2007, 12:06 GMT
E Timor poll: Nobel winner to run
Jose Ramos-Horta. File photo
Mr Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996
Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos-Horta has formally announced that he will stand for president of East Timor in elections in April.

Mr Ramos-Horta has been prime minister since last year, when he was appointed following widespread riots.

He had previously served as East Timor's foreign minister.

Mr Ramos-Horta was for more than two decades one of the most recognisable faces of the East Timorese movement for independence from Indonesia.

If the country were free, prosperous, stable, I wouldn't run
Jose Ramos-Horta
He announced his candidacy in front of about 2,000 supporters in the town of Laga.

"I chose Laga, one of the poorest town's in this country, to announce my candidacy because I spent many years here as a kid and I have been here many times over the years," he told reporters afterwards.

"I know many people, many people know me around the country. If the country were free, prosperous, stable, I wouldn't run."

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Mr Ramos-Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - along with East Timor's Bishop Carlos Belo - for non-violent resistance to Indonesian rule in 1996.

The country's current president, Xanana Gusmao, has repeatedly said he will not run again.

East Timor voted for independence in a referendum in 1999.

It became fully independent in 2002, after a period of UN administration.


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