East Timor president calls new elections to break deadlock

East Timor's president says the country will hold new elections after the minority government formed last year was unable to get its policy program and budget through parliament.

President Francisco "Lu-Olo" Guterres said Friday he had dissolved the parliament. He has yet to announce an election date.

Guterres said, "I ask to the people to vote again. We all go to vote. We all go to elections to improve our democracy."

East Timor, a former Portuguese colony, was occupied by Indonesia for a quarter century. It gained independence after a U.N.-sponsored referendum in 1999.

Indonesia's military responded to the referendum with scorched-earth attacks that devastated the East Timorese half of the island of Timor.

Parliamentary and presidential elections held last year were the first without U.N. supervision.