MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan senator Luis Lacalle Pou will become the country’s next president according to official election figures announced Thursday.
The Latin American country went to the polls for the second round runoff on 24 November after the first round at the end of October failed to yield a clear winner.
Vice President of Uruguay’s Electoral Court, Wilfredo Penco, told Efe that while the National Party (PN) candidate will not officially be declared president “until the final ballot box is opened,” the difference between Lacalle and Broad Front candidate Daniel Martinez made it impossible for there to be any other outcome.
Lacalle will assume office on 1 March 2020, replacing incumbent Tabare Vazquez.
“My recognition and thanks to all the men and women who are defending the votes and democracy at each table these days. My thought is with you,” Lacalle tweeted of the news.
Martinez meanwhile acknowledged his defeat on Twitter, where he thanked all those who cast ballots for him.
He also confirmed he would be meeting Lacalle on Friday.
“The evolution of the scrutiny of the votes observed does not change the trend. Therefore we greet the elected president Luis Lacalle Pou, with whom I will hold a meeting tomorrow.
“I sincerely thank those who trusted us with their vote,” the candidate added.
Besides meeting Martinez on Friday Lacalle will also meet President Vazquez, from whom he will take the baton next year as head of state.
Lacalle was born on 11 August 1973 in Montevideo.
He is the second son of former President Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera (1990-1995) and former senator Julia Pou.
His family has strong links to the PN since his great-grandfather Luis Alberto de Herrera lead the party for over 50 years.
Lacalle ran for president back in 2014 but lost out in the runoff to Vazquez.
Although he beat Martinez in Sunday’s runoff, the slight difference in votes meant his victory could not be proclaimed.
The Electoral Court will take some days to make the announcement but mathematically Lacalle will be the country’s next president – 30 years after his father.