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East Timor crisis: protesters demand PM's resignation

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East Timor crisis: protesters demand PM's resignation


Hundreds of demonstrators in East Timor have continued to pressure Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to resign. After marching to his house, they have now gone to parliament – demanding that the legislature be dissolved. One of the organisers symbolically tied up the gates. An extraordinary meeting of Alkatiri’s party has been postponed until tomorrow because of the protests, with officials citing security concerns.

East Timor has seen weeks of violence and looting after Alkatiri sacked 600 soldiers who had gone on strike claiming discrimination. The prime minister has denied any responsibility for the crisis but has been further damaged by reports that he plotted to form a secret security force to eliminate his rivals. The crisis pits President Xanana Gusmao against Alkatiri. He has accused the prime minister of being corrupt and power hungry. It is widely expected the premier will have to step down after his party meeting tomorrow.
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