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Monday, October 26, 2009

Uruguayan voters turn to nationalist left

Uruguay may be the next South American country to move to the left with a former left-wing guerrilla taking a commanding lead in several exit polls.

According to the BBC:

“Most polls show Senator Jose Mujica has narrowly failed to secure the 50% needed to avoid a run-off vote.
If a second round is officially confirmed, he is likely to face his main conservative rival, the former president, Luis Alberto Lacalle.
The winner will replace outgoing socialist President Tabare Vazquez and take office in March next year.
Exit polls on Sunday suggested 74-year-old Mr Mujica had gained about 48% of votes, with Mr Lacalle trailing on around 30%.
A 29 November run-off would take place between the two frontrunners.
Mr Mujica, a senator of the governing left-wing Broad Front Party, was a former member of the rebel Tupamaros movement in the 1960s and 1970s.”

For the rest click here.

The Tupamaros were a major guerilla movement in the 1960s and 1970s. They were defeated by the military in a violent and bloody coup that started in 1973. The armed forces seize power and promise to encourage foreign investment, but usher in a period of extreme repression during which Uruguay becomes known as "the torture chamber of Latin America" and accumulated the largest number of political prisoners per capita in the world.
After military rule ended in 1985 remnants of the Tupamaros formed a legal political party and renounced violence.

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