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(politics) Poverty Striken Uruguay Narrowly Elects Leftist President

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posted on Nov, 1 2004 @ 07:03 AM
The Progressive-Encounter-Broad-Front-New-Majority opposition coalition eeked out a win in Uruguay's national elections on Sunday. The coalition brings together many strands of society in this poverty striken nation, including Tupamaro guerrillas. The bite of poverty in Latin America has been more severe in the last few years and has moved a number of nations to the left. Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina have each supported left leaning, opponents of US foreign and economic policies.
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (Reuters) - Uruguay's left celebrated its first presidential victory into the wee hours Monday while partial election returns indicated Tabare Vazquez would win and his main challengers conceded on exit poll results.

By electing Vazquez, Uruguay joins the ranks of Latin American nations -- Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Venezuela -- which have chosen left-leaning leaders on platforms of poverty alleviation after a decade of U.S.-backed free-market policies that often ended in economic chaos.

Vazquez's Broad Front coalition -- including Socialists, Communists, Social Democrats and a hugely popular former guerrilla movement -- was also headed toward majorities in both houses of Congress.

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Uruguay has historically been regarded as a highly literate middle class haven. Poverty rates are reported to have risen to 31% and unemployment 13%. The left-ward move in Latin American politics is likely to spread with the rise of poverty and unemployment and predicted by some to mark the beginning of a ten year cycle.

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[edit on 2-11-2004 by G_Scard]

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