Left loses in Uruguay
By Neville Spencer
Jorge Batlle of the ruling Colorado Party was elected Uruguay's president in a second round run-off vote on November 28.
The vote followed parliamentary and first round presidential elections held on October 31, in which Batlle came second with 31.3% behind Tabaré Vázquez, the candidate of the Progressive Encounter-Broad Front left-wing alliance, who won 38.5% of the vote. With no candidate winning more than 50%, the vote was required to go to a second round between the two top vote getters.
As expected, the National Party, which was the other half of Uruguay's former two-party system, threw its support behind Batlle after it was knocked out in the first round. Vázquez gained only a minority of the extra votes to reach 44% in the second round, with most of the votes counted, while Batlle won 52%.