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  • Electoral workers prepare a polling station, in Montevideo, Uruguay October 27, 2019.

    Electoral workers prepare a polling station, in Montevideo, Uruguay October 27, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 October 2019
Opinion

Some 2.7 million Uruguayans were voting for new president and vice president, while also choosing new lawmakers in the country's two chambers of the legislature.

Uruguayans voted Sunday in general elections with the Frente Amplio, which has ruled for more than 14 years as a favorite, but their center-left policies face the challenge of a coalition of conservative parties.

Some 2.7 million Uruguayans were voting for a new president and vice president, while also choosing new lawmakers in the country's two chambers of the legislature. Voting will end at 7:30 p.m. local time.

The election campaign ended Wednesday with massive acts by the two main rivals, the frontrunner engineer Daniel Martínez, 62, and the conservative lawyer Luis Lacalle Pou, 46. Martínez appears first in the polls with support of between 40 and 43 percent, while Lacalle is in second place with 25 and 28 percent of likely voters.

The ruling party candidate is capitalizing on the successes of the three previous governments of the Frente Amplio, headed by Tabaré Vázquez and José Mujica, and bases his government proposal on deepening an economic development model with social inclusion.

Juan Díaz, a 42-year-old economist, told Reuters that he supported the continuity of the Frente Amplio in the government for the stability of the last administrations and also highlighted Martínez's management as the mayor of Montevideo.

 
"Despite the complexity of the voting system, it only takes two minutes for a citizen to enter, vote and exit the polling station."
 

"For the first time there was a surplus in the city and it is important that this be repeated throughout the country," said Juan Díaz, a 42-year-old economist who supported the ruling party for the stability he brought, and who highlighted Martínez's management at the helm in the city of Montevideo.

From the opposition, the candidate Lacalle of the National Party leads a coalition of conservative groups with criticisms of the management of the economy, security and education. Monica Rivero, a 49-year-old Montevidean employee, said she looks forward to the elections and supports the National Party.

"We are excited and we have a lot of hope," Rivero said. He affirmed that it is necessary to "end the waste in the State and pay fewer taxes." If no candidate exceeds 50 percent of votes on Sunday, the two with the most votes will meet again on the last Sunday of November. The first results of the vote will be known after 9 pm local time.

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