MONTEVIDEO – Former President Jose Mujica said Tuesday that he will not be a presidential candidate in Uruguay’s 2019 elections.
“If I am alive and healthy, I will not be a presidential candidate for the next elections,” the octogenarian Mujica said during his weekly program on M24 Radio, emphasizing that he wished to make his intentions clear to both “friends and foes.”
Mujica, whose five-year term ended March 1, said “it was necessary” to convey this message “to avoid unfortunate and sad” conclusions that, in his opinion, do not help the country or the governing leftist Frente Amplio coalition.
For that reason, Mujica said, he also wanted to make “very clear” that he will not be compete in next year’s ballot to choose a new leader of the FA coalition, replacing Monica Xavier, who resigned in August.
After completing his term as president, Mujica became a senator, but has announced he will give up his seat next April.
“In April, I will resign my seat in parliament with the goal of helping to bring in young people, because it is necessary to renew and to bring in young blood to defend a cause I consider fundamental, that is intergenerational, that determines the future of the country,” Mujica said.
With that in mind, he said, he will devote “body and soul” to the task of renovation within FA.
“If, despite my 80 years, I still have some strength, I will devote it to promote younger comrades who are everywhere, who we must provide with opportunities and exposure,” he said.