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No Change in Uruguay: The 1999 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections

By Roberto Espindola

Abstract

NoThe first round of Uruguay's presidential election on 31 October 1999 produced an unprecedented result. Tabaré Vázquez, candidate of the centre¿left coalition Encuentro Progresista¿Frente Amplio (EP¿FA), won a plurality of votes, but fell short of outright victory. Therefore, for the first time in a Uruguayan presidential contest, a second round was held, on 28 November 1999. This returned a no-change verdict, with the presidency remaining in the hands of the Partido Colorado (PC). Finally successful in his fifth attempt to become President, Jorge Batlle led a centre¿right coalition to victory over Vázquez, by 54.1% to 45.9%. The elections were also characterised by a very high turnout: 91.8% of the electorate went to the polls.\ud \ud The success of EP¿FA in the first round led to frantic negotiations between traditional rivals on the right, the PC and the Partido Nacional (PN).1 The dealing and discussion continued right up to the date of the second round; finally the coalition was able to block Vázquez's path to the presidency.\ud \ud Despite their ultimate defeat, these were the best results for the centre¿left since 1971. The EP¿FA won 40 out of 99 seats in the lower house, the Chamber of Deputies. However, although the centre¿left Nuevo Espacio (NE) won four seats and could arrive at an understanding with EP¿FA, the right still controls the lower house with 33 PC and 22 PN deputies. The distribution of Senate seats is similar: the EP¿FA is the largest party, with 12 seats, but can be outvoted if the PC (10 seats) and PN (7 seats) combine. The NE won the single remaining seat of the 30-member Senate

Topics: Elections, Uruguay, Presidential election
Year: 2001
DOI identifier: 10.1016/S0261-3794(00)00057-3
OAI identifier: oai:bradscholars.brad.ac.uk:10454/3442
Provided by: Bradford Scholars
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