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Uruguay’s ruling Broad Front fights to stay in power

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Uruguay’s ruling Broad Front fights to stay in power

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Photo: AP

Uruguayans will vote in a new president and parliament at general elections today.

Polling suggests that the left-wing Broad Front’s (FA) Daniel Martinez is favourite to continue the party’s 15-year hold on the presidency. The FA’s general popularity is due to reducing poverty from 40% to 9% and drastically decreasing economic disparities during their tenure. Martinez’s biggest challenge will come from the centre-right National Party’s (PN) Luis Lacalle Pou on the back of disgruntlement with increasing crime and high costs of living.

However, the election is not a foregone conclusion. Martinez is expected to meet a unified opposition from the disparate centrist and right-wing parties if, as polling suggests, the presidential vote proceeds to a second-round of voting should no candidate obtain 50% of the first round vote.

A Martinez win will generally favour ongoing progressive policies. However, as he showed as mayor of Montevideo, Martinez is pro-business and he has proposed expanding his flagship Capital Fund to improve manufacturing and transportation to the rest of the nation. His pragmatism may win over centrist voters but cause friction with the leftist elements of the FA.

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