Latin America & Caribbean

Uruguay presidential election to go to second round

Luis Lacalle(left) at a polling station and Daniel Martinez, also at a polling station on election day Image copyright AFP
Image caption Luis Lacalle Pou (left) and Daniel Martínez (right) will face each other in a run-off on 24 November

The candidate for Uruguay's centre-left Broad Front coalition, Daniel Martínez, has won the first round of the presidential election but is short of the 50% needed to win outright.

Mr Martínez will now face Luis Lacalle Pou of the conservative National Party in a run-off on 24 November.

Mr Lacalle Pou is expected to win the backing of some of the lower placed presidential candidates.

That support could be enough to put him ahead of Mr Martínez in round two.

What was the result?

Supporters of presidential candidate Daniel Martínez celebrate in Montevideo
Reuters
Uruguay election results

with 99.96% of votes counted

  • 40.7%Daniel Martínez - Broad Front

  • 29.7%Luis Lacalle Pou - National Party

  • 12.8%Ernesto Talvi - Colorado Party

  • 11.3%Guido Manini Ríos - Cabildo Abierto

Source: Uruguay Electoral Court

What do the winning candidates stand for?

Daniel Martínez, Broad Front

Image copyright EPA
  • Ex-mayor of Montevideo and former minister of industry, energy and mining
  • 62-year-old former engineer
  • As a former socialist activist and a pro-business engineer, he is seen as having a wide appeal
  • Promises more surveillance cameras and community policing to tackle crime

Luis Lacalle Pou, National Party

Image copyright AFP
  • Member of Congress since 1999, when he was 26 years old
  • 46 years old, he is the son of former Uruguayan President Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera, who governed from 1990 to 1995
  • Conservative and very pro-business
  • Wants to put more police on the streets, but also wants to tackle the high cost of living through austerity measures
  • Has criticised the "reckless spending" of previous governments

What's next?

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Voters will have to go to the polls again on 24 November

Both Mr Lacalle Pou and Mr Martínez will spend the next weeks trying to gain the support of those voters who in the first round cast their ballots for candidates who have now been eliminated.

Mr Lacalle Pou is determined to bring change to Uruguay after more than 14 years of Broad Front governments. Even though he trailed behind Mr Martínez in the first round, the conservative candidate said voters "had sent a clear message" that they wanted a different government.

The conservative congressman has already spoken to defeated presidential candidates Ernesto Talvi, Guido Manini Ríos and Edgardo Novick, and is certain of their support for the second round.

Mr Martínez congratulated his rival on making it to the second round but said that he would continue the Broad Front's agenda of "distributing wealth and being a nation of justice".

What are the challenges?

Voters named the economy and unemployment as major concerns, with only 22% of citizens in one poll rating the economy as good.

Crime also dominated much of the pre-election debates after the murder rate increased by 46% last year.

A referendum on tougher security measures, including the creation of a military-style National Guard, was held at the same time as the election but fell short of the 50% of votes needed to pass.

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