MONTEVIDEO – Three Uruguayan political parties, the Frente Amplio (FA), the National Party (NP) and the Colorado Party (PC), have ended their campaign for this weekend’s general elections with contradictory promises of continuing progress or bringing about a new era in politics.
With campaign events taking place Thursday all around Montevideo, presidential candidates Tabare Vazquez (FA), Luis Alberto Lacalle (PN) and Pedro Bordaberry (PC), were cheered by thousands of supporters as they made their final bid to attract votes before the campaign deadline at midnight Friday.
All are hoping to replace President Jose Mujica, a former leftist guerrilla who was elected in 2009.
Surveys indicate that the FA, with a leftist majority in both houses of parliament, may lose its dominance, possibly making way for the traditional center-right parties of the PN and the PC joined together, that have governed Uruguay for most of its history.
Vazquez is not likely to obtain 50 percent of the votes in this election (the surveys predict 41 and 44 percent) and may not win against Lacalle, his most likely rival.
Vazquez, 74, accompanied by his vice presidential running Raul Sendic, gave his campaign’s last speech in a relaxed manner intended to arouse the enthusiasm of the FA faithful.
Throughout his campaign, Vazquez has asked citizens to defend the economic and social progress made during the current FA government and thus promote a third consecutive coalition government so as to avoid a hiatus or a setback if the opposition wins.
Lacalle, to whom surveys attribute 32 percent of the vote, closed his “For the Positive” campaign in the town of Las Piedras accompanied by his team and his wife, and with the Uruguayan flag clutched in his hand.
Lacalle said that if he wins the election he would acknowledge the success of other governments and that his agenda does not seek to remove anyone’s power, but to make things better.
Bordaberry, who is predicted to garner 15 percent of the votes, appeared to his supporters in the Montevideo promenade with the slogan “Yes We Can,” referring to their hopes of entering the second round, stressing the importance of Sunday’s elections which he said would be valid for five, 10 or 15 years.
The Colorado party candidate emphasized his central campaign theme, such as lack of safety, and urged his voters to consider his candidacy as more prepared, better, and more skillful, alluding to the youth of Lacalle.