MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay will hold this Sunday the second round of the presidential election, which will decide whether the Broad Front (FA) leftist coalition, which has governed since 2005, wins its fourth straight term in office, or if the National Party (PN) wins and, with that, returns presidential power to the right.
All surveys predict victory for the “white” candidate, Luis Lacalle Pou, who, despite finishing 10 points behind the ruling coalition’s Daniel Martinez in the first round held last Oct. 27, will benefit in this balloting from an alliance made up of most opposition parties.
Lacalle Pou, son of the man who was president between 1990 and 1995, Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera, has managed to form a “multicolor” coalition, as he calls it, asking for “change” in Uruguay after 15 years of the FA being in power.
He has, for example, won the support of the center-right Colorado Party (PC) – Uruguay’s other traditional force with 183 years of history, just like the PN – and of the right-wing Open Cabildo (CA), led by former Commander-in-Chief Guido Manini Rios.
These political organizations came in third and fourth in the first round of voting, in which the CA was the big surprise in Uruguayan politics because of the strength with which it took seats in the legislature even though it is a new party: three senators and 11 lawmakers with 10 percent of the vote.
The minority, center-left Independent Party (PI) and the Party of the People (PG) also supported Lacalle Pou during this campaign for the second round, and were therefore seeking a future coalition government.
Daniel Martinez appealed to the Broad Front’s “old guard” by naming former President Jose Mujica and the current Economy Minister Danilo Astori as two of his future ministers, as a way to recover votes that have drifted off to other parties.
But for now, surveys tend to show that the election will put an end to the 15 years of leftist governments in Uruguay and will give the presidency a right turn for the 2020-2025 term.