Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Uruguay Elects leftist, former guerrilla

Written by Darío Montero
Monday, 30 November 2009

  Left-wing candidate José Mujica was elected
president of Uruguay with nearly 52 percent of the vote
Sunday, seven to eight percentage points ahead of his
rival, the right-wing Luis Alberto Lacalle, according
to projections by pollsters.

Mujica, a former senator and agriculture minister, will
take over from socialist President Tabaré Vázquez on
Mar. 1, to head the second administration of the
leftist Broad Front coalition.

The unseasonal heavy rains of the last few weeks, which
have forced more than 6,000 people out of their homes
due to flooding in different provinces, hardly let up
on Sunday, but voters flocked to the polls anyway in
this South American country, where voting is

The mood during Sunday's runoff was much less jubilant
than in the first round on Oct. 25, when the Broad
Front garnered just over 48 percent of the vote,
winning a majority in parliament for the second time in
history, but falling short of an all-out victory for
Mujica. By contrast, Lacalle's National Party won 29
percent, and the Colorado Party took nearly 17 percent.
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