José Gusmão, 2002 News

charismatic former rebel leader, won East Timor's first presidential election, held in April. An independent, he was the candidate of nine of East Timor's 16 political parties, an indication of his broad appeal. Gusmão took office on May 20, 2002, after the UN relinquished power. He became an active revolutionary in 1975, and directed an effective guerrilla war for independence. Gusmão was arrested in 1992 and imprisoned until 1999, winning release days after the East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia.

2002 People in the News