Uruguay profile

President-elect: Tabare Vazquez

President-elect Tabare Vazquez President-elect Tabare Vazquez

Mr Vazquez's decisive victory in the 2014 run-off presidential election over right-wing challenger Luis Lacalle Pou cemented left-wing rule for another five years.

A cancer doctor by profession, Tabare Vazquez served as president in 2005-2010, being succeeded by his party colleague Jose Mujica. Uruguayan presidents do not serve consecutive terms.

When he takes office in March 2015, Mr Vazquez has pledged to focus more attention on improving education standards and fighting crime, while maintaining the generous social welfare policies of Mr Mujica.

Outgoing president: Jose Mujica

Jose Mujica President Mujica is known for his down-to-earth style

Former leftist guerrilla Jose Mujica took up office on 1 March 2010, after having won a run-off election against conservative former president Luis Lacalle in November 2009 with about 53% of the vote.

Like his predecessor and successor, Tabare Vazquez, Mr Mujica belongs to the left-wing Broad Front (Frente Amplio) coalition.

He was a co-founder of the left-wing Tupamaros urban guerrilla movement during the 1960s, and was imprisoned during the 1973-1985 military dictatorship.

Mr Mujica played a key role in transforming the Tupamaros group into a legitimate political party. Though he is popular with working-class Uruguayans, his rebel background alarmed conservatives, and while running for the presidency he was at pains to stress that he had left his militant past behind.

Mr Mujica is known for his modest lifestyle and plain speaking, and has said that he models himself on former Brazilian president Lula Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a left-leaning former trade unionist known for a centrist approach.

The president's victory was seen as largely the result of his predecessor's popularity and the economic growth Uruguay enjoyed during President Vazquez's four-year term.

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