SA congratulates Timor-Leste on presidential elections

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pretoria - South Africa has congratulated the people of Timor-Leste for successfully holding a second round of Presidential elections.

The results, which were described by observers as generally free and fair, show that Jose Maria Vasconcelos, also known as Taur Matan Ruak, received 61% of the vote, followed by Franscisco Guterres at 38%.

"The South African Government extends its sincere congratulations to the Government and the people of Timor-Leste," the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said on Tuesday.

Pretoria and Timor-Leste have solid relations, characterised by high-level visits between the two countries.

The two countries also share a similar history to South Africa and only gained independence seven years ago.

South Africa has played a critical role in assisting with nation building and the development of democratic institutions to further strengthen democracy and good governance in East Timor.

"South Africa reaffirms its commitment to work with Timor-Leste and looks forward to the strengthening of bilateral, political and social relations between the two countries, particularly in the field of assistance in capacity and institution building," the department said.