East Timor's Ramos Horta ready to step down

East Timor`s Ramos Horta ready to step down Dili: Jose Ramos Horta has indicated he's ready to step down as East Timor's President after a poor showing in weekend elections.

The official results from the first round of voting won't be announced until Tuesday.

But with more than 60 per cent of the ballots counted, the Nobel laureate had nowhere near the support needed to advance to an April 21 run-off between the two front-runners.

Francisco "Lu Olo" Guterres of the traditionally strong leftist Fretilin party was leading today with 28 per cent of the vote. Former military chief, Taur Matan Ruak, followed him with 25 per cent.

Ramos Horta had only 18 per cent but said he wasn't disappointed.

He says both men are capable of ensuring peace and stability for the tiny nation, which was his only real concern.