Timor-Leste: Lessons of a Failing State?

The leader and founding father of Asia’s youngest nation, Xanana Gusmao, announced in November that he was resigning as prime minister and leaving politics. The announcement comes amidst growing state failure and rampant mismanagement. Since Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia in 2002, Gusmao has dominated the small nation’s politics. His intention to resign has led many to accuse him of cowardice – after all, he carries the bulk of the responsibility for the current chaos. His resignation is likely to create a power vacuum and exacerbate the crisis.

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