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Is the Proper-Wing Agenda of Uruguay’s Authorities Right here to Keep?

Montevideo, Uruguay © Oriol Querol / Shutterstock

In November 2019, Luis Lacalle Pou was elected president of Uruguay after defeating the ruling get together candidate and former Montevideo mayor, Daniel Martinez, within the second spherical. President Lacalle Pou’s inauguration in March marked the top of a decade and a half of government management by members of Uruguay’s left-wing Broad Entrance get together, which included the enduring former presidents Jose “Pepe” Mujica and Tabare Vazquez.

Although Martinez got here in first, with 39% of the vote, throughout the first spherical in October 2019, Lacalle Pou managed to rally collectively a five-party right-wing coalition. Led by Lacalle’s Nationwide Celebration, the right-wing formation was baptized the Multicolor Coalition and efficiently squeezed simply over 50% of the vote throughout the second spherical of the presidential election.

Leftist Legacy

Uruguay’s Broad Entrance was based in 1971 via the union of left-wing actions and organizations. The get together dominated Uruguay between 2005 and 2020, beginning with the primary election of Tabara Vazquez in November 2004. Subsequently, in 2009, Jose Mujica was elected to succeed President Vazquez. Mujica’s election, on the age of 74, was unprecedented in Uruguay: He had been a militant with the leftist guerillas throughout the second half of the 20th century and served a number of years in jail. In 2015, Vazquez was elected for an additional time period, extending the Broad Entrance’s presidential tenure to 15 years.

Uruguay’s Broad Entrance governments had been reasonable members of Latin America’s leftist “pink tide” and obtained political help from regional leaders comparable to Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez. These days, nevertheless, Uruguay’s neighborhood seems considerably totally different, significantly in Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil.

Domestically, the Broad Entrance presidencies had been marked by a really progressive agenda that resulted within the legalization of abortion, same-sex marriage and the usage of marijuana, all of this within the context of a historically conservative South American continent.

Who’s Luis Lacalle Pou?

Luis Lacalle Pou is 46 years outdated, and, regardless of his comparatively younger age, he’s a seasoned politician — 2019 was second presidential bid. Earlier than changing into head of state, Lacalle Pou served as a congressman for 20 years, each within the senate and the home of representatives. He’s additionally the son of former Uruguayan president, Luis Lacalle de Herrera, who was in workplace between 1990 and 1995.

Lacalle Pou’s election can also be historic due to the ticket’s companion, Vice President Beatriz Argimon, who grew to become the primary lady elected to that place in Uruguay’s historical past. Sadly, the primary a number of weeks of the Lacalle-Argimon administration have been overwhelmed by the rapidly unfolding COVID-19 pandemic, although latest polling reveals that the president enjoys an approval ranking of over 60%.

From the outset of his marketing campaign, Lacalle Pou has targeted his agenda and insurance policies on sturdy measures to fight insecurity via elevated spending in legislation enforcement, a discount of presidency prices deemed non-essential, and pro-business fiscal reforms to deal with unemployment. Concurrently, over the approaching years, Uruguay must handle the difficulty of an getting old inhabitants. The small South American nation has the oldest demographic make-up within the area and can seemingly have to draw younger migrants and staff to keep up long-term financial stability. President Lacalle Pou can even have to refine his negotiation abilities with a purpose to hold the Multicolor Coalition alive throughout the subsequent 5 years.

On the overseas coverage entrance, Lacalle Pou ushers in a significant break together with his left-leaning predecessors. For example, Uruguay is anticipated to formally break ties with the regime of Nicolas Maduro and acknowledge Juan Guaido as interim president of Venezuela. The regional remnants from the pink tide period, together with Cuba and Nicaragua, weren’t invited to Lacalle Pou’s inauguration. Subsequently, Lacalle Pou introduced Uruguay’s formal departure from UNASUR, South America’s multilateral group conceived by leftist leaders in 2008. Uruguay below President Lacalle Pou is able to prioritize a stronger relationship with the USA and the hemispheric Group of American States primarily based in Washington, DC.

Uruguayan Exceptionalism

As a way to mitigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uruguay, the present and former administrations set in place a collection of measures aimed toward mitigating the unfold of the illness. Benefiting from an informed and civically-minded citizenry in addition to fundamental sanitary infrastructure, Uruguay has saved the variety of infections comparatively low with out introducing quarantine measures for the final inhabitants; self-isolation is simply obligatory for these over 65.

On the financial entrance, the influence is being felt when it comes to job creation, tourism and overseas funding, on which Uruguay’s small financial system depends for accelerated progress. Lacalle Pou has prioritized securing major companies comparable to water and electrical energy for your complete nation, significantly for its most weak sectors. Equally, native elections have been postponed till after the well being disaster.

It’s plain that the Broad Entrance maintained 15 years of financial and constitutional stability within the nation. In contrast to the remainder of South America, Uruguay has not suffered from the latest waves of mass social protests. However, the financial slowdown skilled over the past a number of years, together with altering regional tendencies, have influenced Uruguay’s small inhabitants.

President Lacalle Pou will definitely face opposition from Uruguay’s progressive intelligentsia, significantly on the financial entrance, wherein his proposed austere insurance policies at the moment are compounded by the COVID-19 disaster. On the social entrance, a just lately reopened nationwide debate round euthanasia may sign whether or not the nation will stay on the forefront of South America’s progressive insurance policies or if the brand new agenda of the Multicolor Coalition is right here to remain.

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially replicate Honest Observer’s editorial coverage.

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