José Luís Guterres
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José Luís Guterres is an East Timorese politician and diplomat.
Guterres was a member of the Central Committee of the former ruling party Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor. He served as the ambassador of the unrecognized East Timor government to Angola, Mozambique and the United Nations. When his country achieved independence in May 2002, he was appointed as the first East Timorese ambassador to the U.S. and concurrently the U.N.
In 2006, Guterres attempted to take over the leadership of FRETILIN from Mari Alkatiri, the party's Secretary-General, but Alkatiri prevailed at a FRETILIN national congress. Guterres was named foreign minister under Prime Minister José Ramos-Horta later in the year, serving in that position until May 2007.
Guterres' supporters, comprising a breakaway faction of FRETILIN called "Mudanca" (meaning "reform"), backed FRETILIN's main rival, the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) of former president Xanana Gusmão, in the June 2007 parliamentary election. Despite this, Guterres' faction has refused to leave FRETILIN, and Alkatiri has warned of legal action.
Although FRETILIN won the most votes in the parliamentary election, the CNRT formed a coalition with other parties to hold a majority in parliament. In the government sworn in under Gusmão, who became Prime Minister, on August 8, 2007, Guterres became Deputy Prime Minister. Jose Luis Guterres, also commonly known as "LUGU" along with his group such as Jorge Teme (current Secretary State of Enclave Oecusse), attempted to register FRETILIN-MUDANSA as a political party broke up from FRETILIN but then it was later rejected by the High court of Timor-Leste due to its political attributes, even name of the party itself which was similar to the existed political party, FRETILIN. Then, only few days later, as they were given chances to make any modification so that it could be legally registered, they changed FRETELIN-MUDANSA to FRENTI-MUDANSA. Then, the party was then approved by the high court of Timor-Leste and therefore it is now preparing itself by consolidating the militatants and simpatisants, putting up its political party structure in the grassroot level in preparation towards general election in 2012.
- Stephen Fitzpatrick, "Fretilin sidelined in Timorese cabinet", The Australian, August 9, 2007.
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