August 1, 2014
Uruguay primaries: Tabaré to face Lacalle Pou, Bordaberry in presidential elections
Uruguay’s former president Tabaré Vázquez (2005-2010) is to run for office once again for the ruling Broad Front on October 26 elections, facing Partido Nacional’s Luis Lacalle Pou and Partido Colorado’s candidate Pedro Bordaberry, according to yesterday’s primaries results.
The election to decide who will run for President in October that gave Tabaré Vázquez a landslide victory, with 83.9% of the votes against 16.1% of rival Constanza Moreira, had the lowest turnout since 2009. Only 30-35% of registered voters casted their ballots, the lowest number since the primaries were implemented.
With over 66% of the votes counted for, Tabaré Vázquez’s victory confirms the trend showed by exit polls late last night.
Pedro Bordaberry, son of ex-dictator Juan Bordaberry, was chosen as the Colorado candidate with 68.9% over José Amorín Battle (31.1%). Luis Lacalle Pou, also the son of an ex-president, was elected as Partido Nacional’s candidate by 53.2% over his rival Jorge Larrañaga (46.8%)
The term of President Jose Mujica, also of Frente Amplio, ends in March 2015, with the election due to be held this October. Frente Amplio - which under Mujica has pursued radical policies such as marijuana legalization - is ahead in opinion polls with around 44 percent of support.
Vazquez pursued a center-left agenda in his first term, combining social welfare reforms with conservative economic policies. Less radical in office than ex-guerrilla Mujica, Vazquez opposed Uruguay's recent legalization of abortion.
In a speech on Sunday, he pledged to tackle high inflation, lower taxes, and give extra support to social and education programs.