'TIMOR Leste is currently calm and relatively stable compared to the 2006-2007 crisis period, but is still widely seen as fragile,' states a recent report by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), a Canadian think-tank. But the balance scales will soon be tested.

The country's new-found aura of calm was shown with village council elections, which passed without incident in October last year. Its fragility will be challenged in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary polls due in 2012, where considerably more power is at stake. And the security services may well prove pivotal.

A year after Timor Leste's formal independence...

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