EspañolUruguay’s former president, Tabaré Vázquez, won his old job back on Sunday, after securing victory in the runoff election.
Vázquez, representing the ruling progressive coalition Broad Front, led the vote with 53.6 percent, defeating conservative National Party candidate Luis Lacalle Pou, who scored just 41 percent of the vote. The results extend the ruling party’s decades-long control of Uruguay for another five-year term.
“We want to govern with all of you [Uruguayans]. We do not want you to follow us, but guide us. Don’t leave us alone,” said Vázquez before thousands of Broad Front supporters.
The 74-year-old oncologist will make his return to the Uruguayan presidency after an initial term in office ending in 2010.
Raúl Sendic, Vázquez’s running mate, said education and infrastructure policies will be “enormous challenges” that his government needs to address during the next five years. Among the Broad Front’s proposals, Vázquez promised establishing new taxes on large landowners to finance improvements in education.
“We will comply to the last comma with the Broad Front program. Within the Constitution and the law, everything. Outside the Constitution and the law, nothing,” said Vázquez.
The newly elected president has expressed disagreement with laws introduced by current President José Mujica, such as those legalizing abortion and marijuana use. However, unlike Lacalle Pou, Vázquez vowed to not repeal either of those laws.
Conservative candidate Lacalle Pou acknowledge his defeat and congratulated Vázquez minutes after the polls in Uruguay close: “A few minutes ago, I called Tabaré Vázquez to recognize his victory, and congratulate him for the legitimate victory he just secured.”
“We will assume the responsibility granted to us by the people, which is to lead the party and to to be the second-largest force in parliament to push our initiatives, to control, and to convince,” said Lacalle Pou, who will lead the opposition efforts from his seat in the Senate.