The Nobel prize winner José Ramos-Horta has scored a landslide victory in Timor-Leste’s presidential election, according to preliminary results published by the election secretariat.
The 72-year-old secured 397,145 votes, or 62.09%, against incumbent Francisco “Lu-Olo” Guterres’ 242,440, or 37.91%, the secretariat’s website showed on Wednesday after all ballots were counted.
The victory gives Ramos-Horta his second term in office. He served as president of south-east Asia’s youngest country from 2007 to 2012.
Ramos-Horta will be inaugurated on 20 May, the 20th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia, which occupied the former Portuguese colony for 24 years.
A press release from the Portuguese president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said he called Ramos-Horta on Wednesday to convey “the warmest congratulations on the election as president of the Republic of Timor-Leste”.
Nearly 860,000 people in the country of 1.3 million were eligible to vote, and more than 75% of voters turned up to cast their ballots in the second round.
This week’s vote was a rematch of the 2007 presidential poll that also saw Ramos-Horta win handily, with 69% of the vote.
Ramos-Horta said he came out of retirement to run once more because he believed the outgoing president had violated the constitution.