Conservative Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou to be sworn in as Uruguay’s next president

Uruguay’s president-elect Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou will be inaugurated today in Montevideo. After 15 years of leftist leadership by the

Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou

Photo: Mariana Greif/Reuters

Uruguay’s president-elect Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou will be inaugurated today in Montevideo.

After 15 years of leftist leadership by the Broad Front party, the election of the centre-right Lacalle Pou signals a shift in the direction of Uruguayan policy. Among the areas of focus for Lacalle Puo’s regime is Uruguay’s economy, which has been struggling with high inflation and a trade deficit worth 4.7% of its GDP. Lacalle Puo hopes to boost growth by strengthening the Mercosur trade bloc, headquartered in Uruguay, and increasing trade ties to the rest of the Americas, particularly the US.

The grievances voiced by Lacalle Pou’s opposition mostly have to do with the austere budgetary policies touted by his administration in the face of mounting public debt. Despite insisting that Latin America’s oldest welfare state will not see any reduction in benefits to its citizens, critics are anxious about the potential slashing of many public sector jobs. The new administration claims incentivising the immigration of wealthy foreigners to Uruguay will provide increased investment to offset the harms of austerity measures.

The new administration should expect difficulty in getting its proposals passed due to significant opposition in the country’s General Assembly. Despite Lacalle Pou’s centre-right presidency, the Broad Front remains the largest coalition in both chambers of the country’s legislative body.

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