In Uruguay, the right is about to gain power

Luis Lacalle Pou, the presidential candidate of the Uruguayan National Party, takes a selfie with supporters during the closing demonstration of his campaign in Las Piedras on 20 November. Matilde Campodonico / AP

It reigned as an atmosphere of victory before the hour, Wednesday, November 20, in the small streets of Las Piedras where, even at night, remained a stifling heat. It is in this city located thirty kilometers north of Montevideo that thousands of supporters of Luis Lacalle Pou, 46, right-wing candidate in the second round of presidential elections scheduled for Sunday, November 24, had gathered. Arrived on stage with cries of " President ! President ! " the one who is credited with the polls of nearly 50% of the votes defended his "Multicolored coalition", "That of the people, not political parties! "

Read also In Uruguay, the left in the lead but in trouble for the second round of the presidential election

The electoral alliance formed during the between-two rounds – composed in particular of the historic National Party (PN) of Mr. Lacalle Pou and Party Colorado (center right) and a new, come from the extreme right, Cabildo Abierto – has a good chance of winning against the Frente Amplio ("Extended Front"), the left-wing coalition that has ruled the country since 2005. "The opposition has done a very good campaign. Mr. Lacalle Pou (Former National Party Senator, son of former President Luis Alberto Lacalle) soon began to weave alliances, the Frente amplio underestimated the opposition ", analysis Adolfo Garce, professor of political science at the University of the Republic of Montevideo.

"Society has grown tired of the Frente amplio, fifteen years in power, it's too much"

Daniel Martinez, 62, former mayor of Montevideo and candidate of the Frente amplio, arrived at the top of the first round of the presidential election on 27 October, with 39% of the vote, ten points ahead of Lacalle Pou. But the rallying of all the opposition parties behind him for the second round leaves little hope for the representative of the left. "Mr. Martinez wanted to stand out from the historical leaders of the Frente Amplio, Tabaré Vazquez (President since 2015 after a first term between 2005 and 2010) and José Mujica (in power from 2010 to 2015) but he does not have their charisma », says Adolfo Garce.

The problem of insecurity

"It's good to change", one of the slogans of Mr. Lacalle Pou, is displayed on signs placarded throughout Montevideo. In the streets of Aguada, a middle-class neighborhood in the center of the capital, it is rather the colors of the Frente amplio that are spread over decrepit walls. Here, residents continue to vote mostly left, but the right-wing parties made a surprising breakthrough on October 27. The first round of the presidential election coincided with the parliamentary elections, won by the right.


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