Many people in East Timor approached the election year of 2012 with unease. They feared a new eruption of violence if their country’s fragile stability was once again put to the test. But apart from a few incidents, both the two rounds of the presidential elections and the parliamentary elections passed off peacefully and were properly conducted. The new president is José Maria de Vasconcelos, alias Taur Matan Ruak. The post of prime minister continues to be held by Xanana Gusmão. In the tenth year of its independence East Timor is therefore taking a further step on the road towards democracy.