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International relations

East Timor heads for election after bad-tempered campaign

Vote comes after landmark maritime boundary deal with Australia

East Timorese are set to vote in parliamentary elections on May 12.   © Reuters

DENPASAR, Indonesia -- For the second time in less than a year, voters in East Timor will head to polling stations on May 12 to decide who will run the second smallest country in Southeast Asia.

The last elections held in July 2017 left Mari Alkariri of the Fretilin party, or the Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor, as prime minister leading a shaky minority government. As its name suggests, Fretilin is made up of activists and fighters who opposed Indonesia's occupation of East Timor between 1975 and 1999.

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