Bishop Belo could stand for President of East Timor
East Timor President Xanana Gusmao's announcement that he will not stand for re-election in 2007 has put the spotlight on Retired East Timor Bishop Carlos Belo, who has indicated he might run for president.
In comments last month that went unreported in Australia, Bishop Belo said he would consider running for president if he had strong popular support for the move and if Gusmao decided not to run again.
President Gusmao (pictured) yesterday told the Portuguese news agency Lusa: "I am tired. Five years is enough for me."
A poll carried out last year in East Timor found that more than 80% of the population would like to see Belo run for president.
Gusmao won a five-year term in a landslide victory in the country's first presidential election held in April 2002. He secured more than 83% of all votes cast.
Belo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, along with Jose Ramos Horta, a prominent independence activist who is now East Timor's foreign minister, for his non-violent resistance to Indonesia's occupation of his homeland.
East Timor president won't stand (The Australian 18/3/04)
Pope appoints successor to East Timor's Bishop Belo (CathNews 8/3/04)
Bishop Belo steps down for health reasons (CathNews 27/11/02)
Bishop Belo undergoes prostate surgery (CathNews 18/7/03)
Lonely struggle for peace and justice in E Timor (Catholic Leader 19/1/03)
Belo scuttles Gusmao 'forgive and forget' bid to woo Indonesia (CathNews 11/9/03)
Belo seeks war crimes justice for East Timor (SMH/ETAN 28/8/01)
Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, S.D.B. (catholic-hierarchy.org)
18 Mar 2004