On 20 March 2017 former guerillero Francisco Guterres, better known by his nom de guerre Lu-Olo, has been elected President of East Timor, defeating 8 other candidates running for presidential election. According to provisional results announced by the Secretariat for Technical and Electoral Administration (STAE), winner Guterres received 57,08% of votes cast against contestant António da Conceição who collected 32,47% of the votes, eliminating the possibility of having a second round. The results also demonstrated a voter turnout of 71.16%, to be confirmed by the National Election Commission (CNE) in the national tabulation.

Out of a population of 1.2 million, as reported by the STAE, the presidential election has attracted over 700,000 voters who went to polls in 13 districts within the country along with over 1000 voters abroad who cast their votes in polling stations installed in Sydney, Darwin and Lisbon.

Outright victory of Francisco Guterres in what was his third run for the presidency is mainly due to the broad support received from major political parties such as Fretilin (Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente) and CNRT (Congresso Nacional para a Reconstrução de Timor-Leste).

Guterres had received around 30% of the votes in the 2007 and 2012 elections.

With financial support from the Government of Japan and Korea worth more than 4 millions USD, UNDP has been implementing a project entitled “Leveraging Electoral Assistance for Regionalized Nation-Building (LEARN)” aiming at strengthening capacities of the Timorese Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) throughout the electoral cycle. The project has a strong focus on civic and voter education, the role of media in elections and increased political participation of youth and women at all levels, based on enhanced multi-stakeholder dialogue.