October 28, 2009
Uruguay leftists sweep back to power
Uruguay’s governing left-wing coalition has won a parliamentary majority for a second mandate after Sunday’s general election.
Although the Electoral Commission is still counting votes, analysts say they will not affect the final results, which will be logged on Saturday.
Preliminary results indicate that the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition got 16 seats out of a total of 30 in the higher chamber of parliament. It also obtained 50 deputies of the 99 in the lower house.
Ruling party socialist Jose ‘Pepe’ Mujica needs more than 50 percent of the votes to avoid a runoff against former president Luis Lacalle.
Exit polls suggest Mujica has just under 50 percent of the votes, far more than Lacalle but not enough to win the first round majority of 50 percent.
Mujica is a former guerrilla who hopes to create lasting socialism in Uruguay.
Lacalle is a free-marketeer who pushed hard to privatize government during his presidential term between 1990 and 1995