Who are the main candidates for Uruguayan presidency?
By Santiago Carbone
Combined photos made available Oct. 23, 2019, showing the four Uruguayan presidential candidates - of the 11 running - who have garnered the most support in the recent voter surveys: left to right, top to bottom - Daniel Martinez, with the governing Broad Front; Ernesto Talvi, with the Colorado Party; Guido Manini Rios with the Cabildo Abierto party; and Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, with the opposition National Party. EFE-EPA/ File
By Santiago Carbone
Montevideo, Oct 23 (efe-epa).- Eleven candidates, among whom Daniel Martinez with the leftist Broad Front (FA) coalition that has governed since 2005 and Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, with the opposition center-right National Party (PN), are aspiring to win the Uruguayan presidency in the elections to be held next Sunday.
Martinez and Lacalle are running first and second, respectively, in all the voter surveys, although neither is expected to garner an absolute majority, and thus they are the favorites to make it to the election runoff to be held on Nov. 24.
The candidate who obtains more than 50 percent of the votes in that later contest will become Uruguay's next president.
Although there are many voter surveys, none give Martinez less than 33 percent support and the Radar survey - which is the one that rates him highest - puts him at around 41 percent among likely voters, while Lacalle Pou is fluctuating between 22 percent and 27 percent.
DANIEL MARTINEZ (BROAD FRONT)
The Broad Front candidate is 62-year-old industrial engineer whose political career includes being president of the state-run Ancap petroleum company from 2005-2008; industry, energy and mining minister from 2008-2009 and mayor of Montevideo, a post he occupied from 2015-2019, when he left that position to run for president.
With the slogan "La Ola Esperanza" (The Wave of Hope), Martinez is seeking to convince voters of the need for the FA to obtain a fourth mandate to govern the country and is placing emphasis on the progress obtained during its 15 years at the helm of the small Atlantic coast nation sandwiched between Brazil to the north and Argentina to the south.
His relationship with the leftist coalition has blossomed since the Socialist Party, which he joined in 1973 (the year that Uruguay's civilian-military dictatorship came to power, governing until 1985) and within which his candidacy has surged.
LUIS ALBERTO LACALLE POU (NATIONAL PARTY)
The son of former President Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera (1990-1995) and grandson of one of Uruguay's key political figures of the 20th century, Luis Alberto de Herrera, this 45-year-old attorney is once again seeking the presidency after losing the 2014 election to Tabare Vazquez.
With the slogan "Es Ahora" (The Time Is Now), Lacalle Pou is emphasizing a course change in the way the country is governed to be able - via a coalition - to improve in key areas important to the public such as public safety and economic performance.
The current senator has been involved in politics since 2000, when he first entered parliament as a lawmaker.
ERNESTO TALVI (COLORADO PARTY)
Talvi, a 62-year-old economist, in mid-2018 created the Ciudadanos (Citizens) political sector within the center-right Colorado Party, using that as a springboard to run for president, having defeated former President Julio Maria Sanguinetti, who governed the country from 1985-1990 and 1995-2000, for the party leadership.
After emerging as a surprise contender for the presidency, first in the internal party primaries and later in the national primaries, when he challenged Lacalle Pou for the No. 2 slot among voters nationwide, Talvi has been losing momentum recently and current voter surveys give him between 10 percent and 18 percent of the vote.
The son of Macedonian and Cuban parents, Talvi was born in Montevideo, where between 1990-1995 he worked at the Uruguayan Central Bank as an adviser to the economic team in its relations with the International Monetary Fund.
GUIDO MANINI RIOS (CABILDO ABIERTO)
The 60-year-old served until March 2019 as Uruguay's army commander in chief, being dismissed by Vazquez at that time for questioning the national judiciary.
A month later he was put forward by the Cabildo Abierto party as its presidential candidate, and he told EFE that he wants to help the country return to the "historic" levels of security it had during the 1950s and up until the early 1990s.
Currently, while facing legal proceedings for rulings by the Army Honor Court for a crime linked to the dictatorship, Manini Rios has between 7 percent and 12 percent of the vote, according to voter surveys.
The other presidential candidates, who have not managed to garner much support at all in the voter surveys, are Pablo Mieres (Partido Independiente); Edgardo Novick (Partido de la Gente); Gonzalo Abella (Unidad Popular); Rafael Fernandez (Partido de los Trabajadores); Daniel Goldman (Partido Digital); Cesar Vega (Partido Ecologista Radical Intransigente) and Gustavo Salle (Partido Verde Animalista).