This is info coming from the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (CNRT) conference today. Xanana Gusmao's CNRT has officially said no to a coalition with FRETILIN and has announced that it will seek a three-party, CNRT-led coalition with the Democratic Party (PD) and Frente Modanca will form the government of Timor-Leste for 2012-2017 with FRETILIN as the opposition party.
CNRT won 30 of 65 seats in the parliamentary vote last Saturday, with PD picking up eight seats and Frente Modanca, a FRETILIN breakway party, winning two. FRETILIN won 25 seats. No party won the majority of seats needed to form a government alone, leaving it up to the four parties that made it past the 3% threshold needed to take seats in parliament to work out who would take power.
There had been talk of a "rainbow government" with no opposition. Some had speculated that PD would turn on CNRT and side with FRETILIN, at which point CNRT would likely have volunteered to go into opposition. FRETILIN's top brass had indicated a willingness to form a government with CNRT.
At the end of the day, there are no big surprises here and the look of Timor-Leste's new government likely won't be radically dissimilar from the current one. What is worth noting is that only four parties will have seats in parliament, compared with seven for the last term.
Now comes the final test for Timor-Leste's current peace and stability.