Uruguay is heading to the second round of presidential elections in November. That’s after no candidate reached a 50% plus 1 majority in Sunday’s vote. It was one of the tightest races since the center-left Broad Party came into power more than a decade ago.
CGTN’s Lucrecia Franco reports from the capital Montevideo.
The “frente amplistas” supporters of the Broad Front coalition took to the streets Sunday night to cheer for Daniel Martínez.
The former mayor of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo, emerged as the front-runner for next month’s second-round ballot, with just over 40% of the vote.
Martínez won 40.7% of the vote with 99.96% of the ballots counted.
Specifically, the team’s urn survey explains that Daniel Martínez has 40.7%, Luis Lacalle Pou 29.9% and then Ernesto Talvi, of the Colorado Party, with 11.8% and Guido Manini Ríos, of Cabildo Open with 9.6%.
“Citizens are going to choose the person who can best lead them in the process of making Uruguay richer and a more just country,” said Daniel Martínez, Broad Front Presidential Candidate.
Martínez will face runner-up, Luis Lacalle Pou of the conservative National Party. Lacalle immediately received the backing of the third and fourth place parties collectively representing 52% of the vote-enough to land Lacalle the presidency.
“The next government will not be a National Party government. It will be a multicolor government led by the National Party,” said Luis Lacalle Pou, National Party Candidate.
The election on Sunday had a historic turnout of around 90% percent of Uruguay’s 2.7 million eligible voters, according to the electoral court, and the runoff promises to be one of the most highly contested races ever.
Uruguay’s electoral body highlighted Sunday the high participation of the population as part of the general elections held in the South American country, with around 90% of people who have exercised their right to vote.
At least 2.7 million Uruguayans were summoned to vote this Sunday to elect the president, vice president, senators and deputies to Parliament, who will exercise their mandate during the period 2020-2025.
Gerardo Caetano, a political analyst at the Uruguay’s University of the Republic, says the results are a consequence of political fatigue and disenchantment with the economy.
“Unemployment has risen. Sixty-thousand jobs have been lost which is a lot for a small county like Uruguay. There is a budget deficit of almost 5% of the GDP, among other negative numbers,” said Gerardo Caetano, Political Analyst, University of the Republic.
Sunday’s election also featured the failed “Live without fear” referendum that, among other measures, proposed to deploy soldiers for domestic law enforcement duties.
Polarized as the country may be, Uruguayans take pride in the fact that elections here are peaceful and orderly, especially with large, sometimes violent demonstrations taking place elsewhere in the region.
The 2nd round runoff will take place on November 24th.