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The frontrunners discussed for an hour and a half, four main topics: economy, security, human development, and productivity.
The presidential frontrunners for Uruguay’s upcoming elections Daniel Martinez for the left-wing Broad Front and for the right-wing National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou, debated Tuesday on national TV prior to Oct. 27 polls.
The event itself was historic as it is the first time presidential candidates debate on live television in more than 25 years. The frontrunners discussed for an hour and a half, four main topics: economy, security, human development, and productivity.
Martinez urged Uruguayans to continue advancing in the construction of a more prosperous and productive nation and to not to go back to the past.
He also asked the people to continue consolidating achievements such as poverty reduction and the creation of more than 300,000 jobs per year, despite acknowledging that 50,000 jobs were lost, an argument made by his opponent.
Regarding security in the Latin American nation, Broad Front’s candidate reiterated the measures at strengthening of police operations and professionalization of the criminal investigation. "We will not give up security to those who are not prepared," he said.
Así como hay dos modelos de país que están en juego, hay dos maneras en las que se está encarando este debate.
“Just as there are two models for the country at stake, there are two ways in which this debate is being addressed...proposals and criticism,” Martinez said.
While Lacalle wasn’t convinced saying that crime increased by 48 percent and homicides by 54 percent. Martinez responded there is still room to improve and that security will be one of the next government’s main issues but reminded the public that human development is the main accomplishment of the 15 years of Broad Front’s rule.
Martinez highlighted the reduction of poverty to 8.1 percent from 40 percent since 2004; as well as the increase of the educational budget to “more than US$2 billion.”
"A few powerful people seem to dislike the way the country is heading," he said, adding that “52 percent of those who now enter University are the first generation of their family. That was not wasteful. It is because there was a commitment to education.”
According to a poll released Thursday by Option Consultants (Opción Consultores).
Martinez and his Vice Presidential candidate Graciela Villar lead by 30 percent in Uruguay's voting intention.
While the opposition right-wing National Party with Lacalle Pou rose to 23 percent and is placed second, while the Cabildo Abierto party along with the Colorado Party (PC) are in third place with 12 percent of the voting intention.
“With the Broad Front, all progressives are aiming for an increasingly fair country, we are going for a better nation, we are going to walk firmly in the 21st century, we are going for a change that adds up,” Martinez said after the duo was ratified in a National Plenary session.