After 15 years of leftism, Uruguay sways to the right in the upcoming presidential elections

Uruguay holds a run-off presidential election today between leftist President Daniel Martinez and centre-right candidate Luis Lacalle Pou. The run-off

uruguay elections

Photo: Reuters

Uruguay holds a run-off presidential election today between leftist President Daniel Martinez and centre-right candidate Luis Lacalle Pou.

The run-off follows last month’s election, where Martinez fell 9% short of the threshold for retaining the presidency. Though Martinez gained 11% more of the vote, the latest polling shows voters favouring Pou. Growing discontent with strong leftist policies is unsurprising given the county’s inflation rate sits at 7.5%, unemployment currently hovers around 9% and public debt is just under 5% of its GDP.

Pou’s pledge to tackle the country’s murder rate, which almost doubled in 2018, through stronger police presence on the streets is swaying voters. Even more persuasive is Pou’s promise of making the economy more competitive through less state control and no increase in taxation.

Expect today’s vote to showcase Uruguay joining the tide of South American countries moving more toward centre-right policies.