A center right president took office in Uruguay on Sunday, promising to crack down on crime and tighten government finances after a 15-year string of left-leaning governments. Luis Lacalle Pou, a 46-year-old surfing enthusiast and son of a former president, narrowly won the election in November, 37.000 votes, in his second try for the top office.
Uruguay's new Senators and Deputies which emerged from the general election results of last October were sworn in on Saturday during a ceremony held at the Legislative Palace. The ceremony not only confirmed 99 members of the Lower House and 30 Senators but also marked the opening of ordinary sessions of the XLIX legislative period.
Uruguay Sunday's department and municipal elections resulted mostly as forecasted with no major surprises, and as advanced by MP 9 May, in the capital Montevideo, with half the country's electorate, the two promising candidates have effectively been the elected mayor, Daniel Martinez and Edgardo Novick, a successful businessman and non political figure, who now becomes head of the opposition.
On Sunday May 10, Uruguay is holding county and municipal elections with 2.6 million eligible voters (out of a population of 3.3m) in an event which will be more centered on local issues and thus will not necessarily replicate the absolute majority vote of the ruling coalition in last October/November presidential and legislative election.
High inflation, relatively weak economic growth and an exhausted growth model are forecasted for Uruguayan president-elect Tabare Vazquez second administration as of next March, according to the latest report from two Capital Economics analysts.
Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated on Monday Uruguayan president-elect Tabare Vazquez on his Sunday victory, and said that the US looks forward to working with the new administration and to continue advancing with the vibrant relationship we have had under the leadership of President Jose Mujica.
People have decided and opted for the ticket Tabare Vazquez-Raul Sendic and results must be complied, respected and defended, were Luis Lacalle Pou's first words admitting defeat on Sunday evening to Uruguay's next president Vazquez.
On Sunday Uruguayan voters will confirm in a runoff the country's next president, which according to all forecasts will be Tabare Vazquez. An oncologist by training, former president (2005/2009) and former mayor of the City of Montevideo, Vazquez and the Broad Front coalition was just less than three percentage points short of the needed 50% in the first round on October 26.
Uruguay's opposition candidate Luis Lacalle Pou admitted on Thursday that defeating incumbent Tabare Vazquez in the 30 November runoff is 'difficult' but not impossible. In last Sunday's first round the incumbent candidate garnered 47.9% of the vote and Lacalle Pou, 30.9%.
The Organization of American States Secretary General, (OAS), congratulated the Uruguayan people on their democratic spirit shown during Sunday´s general elections. He also extended praise to the two candidates that advanced to the second round, Tabare Vazquez from the ruling Broad Front, and Luis Lacalle Pou from the National Party.