Uruguayans prepare to vote in presidential election

World Today

Uruguay electionUruguayan nationals living in Paraguay wave upon their arrival in Montevideo on October 25, 2014 to vote in Sunday’s general election. AFP PHOTO

In recent years, Uruguay has legalized marijuana regulation, same-sex marriage, and abortion. All of that was approved under the presidency of Jose Mujica. The country has also seen a high amount of poverty reduction and economic growth. However, the expected presidential election results are still not clear cut. CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports from Montevideo.

Uruguayans prepare to vote in presidential election

In recent years, the neighboring country of Uruguay has legalized marijuana regulation, same-sex marriage and abortion. All of that was approved under the presidency of Jose Mujica. Uruguay has also seen a high amount of poverty reduction and economic growth. However, the expected presidential election results are still not clear cut. CCTV America's Joel Richards reports from Montevideo.

In the past 10 years of government under former president Tabaré Vazquez and president Jose Mujica, the Broad Front has brought in progressive social policies and dramatically transformed Uruguay.

“Uruguay had around 40 or 50 percent living poverty,” explained analyst Raul Zibechi. “Today, that has dropped enormously, largely thanks to social policies, but there was also a decade of economic boom, of permanent growth thanks to the rise in price of commodities which Uruguay exports, soy, meat, wool and cellulose.”

Polls place the Broad Front well in the lead, but short of the necessary 50 percent to win outright on Sunday.

More than 30 years younger, the closest candidate to Vazquez is Luis Lacalle Pou. He is a lawyer and son of a former president, running on a center-right campaign. Improving public safety and education have been at the center of his campaign.

“We believe that on Oct. 26, Uruguay is going to be reborn with a new way of doing things,” said Pou. “And not just with regards to its political representatives, but really for all its people.

With Pedro Bordaberry of the center-right Colorado Party also polling at just under 20 percent, Sunday’s results are expected to lead to a run off in late November.