Uruguay

Freedom House Rating: Free
Government Type: Presidential Republic
Population: 3.4 million

Nicknamed the “Switzerland of South America,” Uruguay is wealthier than the its neighbors and politically neutral. The three major parties are the center-left and social democratic Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition, the center-right National Party (PN), and the liberal Colorado Party (PC).

In the October 2019 general elections, after 15 years of FA rule, Louis Lacalle Pou from PN won the presidency in a tight runoff. The son of a former president, he had defeated a populist in his party’s primary to win the nomination on a center-right platform. During the campaign, he pledged support for socially liberal policies.

During the local elections, each of Uruguay’s 19 departments will elect an intendente (departmental mayor) and 31 ediles (magistrates), plus each town will elect an alcalde (mayor) and four concejales (councilors). In total, citizens will elect 19 intendentes, 589 ediles, 112 alcaldes, and 448 concejales.

Photo:  Campaigning in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, ahead of the 2009 primaries.

Photo credit: Wikimedia/NaBUru38 (CC BY-SA 3.0) https://bit.ly/2w1xurG

Updated February 23, 2020

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