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Uruguay Politics

State and politics

Uruguay emerged during most of the 20th century as one of the most stable democracies in Latin America. A break from this is the years 1973-85, when the country was ruled by a military regime.

Political System of Uruguay

GOVERNMENT

According to the 1967 Constitution, Uruguay is a democratic republic. The executive power is exercised by the President and the Council of Ministers (the government), while the legislative power lies with the Congress, which consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives with 99 members and the Senate with 30 elected members; In addition, the Vice President also has a Senate seat.

President, Vice President and Congress are elected on a joint election day through open and free elections every five years. The President cannot be directly re-elected. The congress seats are distributed by proportional method. All citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote.

Policy

Uruguay's traditional bipartisan system, where Partido Nacional, whose followers are called Blancos (hence the common name Blancoparti), and Partido Colorado (Colorado Party) dominated the country's politics, has now been completely broken by the growth of the left alliance Frente Amplio since the mid-1990s. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how UY can stand for Uruguay.

As a reaction to the last decades of privatization policies, and above all the deep economic crisis in 2002, won the Frente Amplios candidate Tabaré Vázquez is already in the presidential election first round in 2004. The success of the Frente Amplio continued in 2009, when the former guerrilla leader Jose ("Pepe") Mujica was elected to the new president. Vázquez returned to the post after the 2014 election.

Prior to the 2019 presidential election, Frente Amplio appointed Daniel Martínez (born 1957), former mayor of Montevideo, as his candidate. The Blanco Party re-arranged with Luis Lacalle Pou, while the Colorado Party launched Ernesto Talvi (born 1957). Martínez received the strongest support in the first round, 39 percent of the vote, with Lacalle Pou second with 29 percent. After the other opposition parties stood behind Lacalle Pou, he took a scarce victory in the second round with 50.8 percent of the vote.

In the parliamentary elections Frente Amplio again became the largest party but without a majority; 42 seats were the party's worst result since 1999. Both the Blanco Party and the Colorado Party remained at about the same level as in the previous three elections. The political playing field was partly redrawn by the newly started right-wing Social Conservative Party Cabildo Abierto (roughly 'Open City Hall'), led by former Army Chief Guido Manini Ríos (born 1958), received almost as many seats (11) as the Colorado Party.

Results in parliamentary elections

Distribution of seats in elections to the House of Representatives

1994 1999 2004 2009 2014 2019
Blanco Party 31 22 36 30 32 30
Colorado Party 32 33 10 17 13 13
Frente Amplio 31 40 52 50 50 42
Nuevo Espacio 5 4
Partido Independiente 1 2 3 1
Unidad Popular 1
Cabildo Abierto 11
Partido Ecologista Radical Intransigente 1
Partido de la Gente 1

Judiciary

The legal order in Uruguay consists of written laws, among which the Civil Law, the Civil Procedure Act and the Trade Act play a prominent role. The judicial organization consists mainly of small court, general court of appeal, appellate court and a supreme court. The death penalty was abolished in 1907.

Heads of State

1903-07 José Batlle y Ordóńez
1907-11 Claudio Williman
1911-15 José Batlle y Ordóńez
1915-18 Feliciano Viera
1918-33 National Council
1933-38 Garbriel Terra
1938-43 Alfredo Baldomir
1943-47 Juan Amézaga
1947 Tomás Berreta
1947-51 Luis Batlle Berres
1951-66 National Council
1966-67 Alberto Héber Usher
1967 Oscar Gestido
1967-72 Jorge Pacheco Areco
1972-76 Juan María Bordaberry
1976 Alberto Demichelli Lizaso
1976-81 Aparicio Méndez
1981-85 Gregorio Alvarez Armelino
1985 Rafael Addiego
1985-90 Julio Maria Sanguinetti
1990-95 Luis Alberto Lacalle
1995-2000 Julio Maria Sanguinetti
2000-2005 Jorge Batlle
2005-2010 Tabaré Vázquez
2010-15 José Mujica
2015-20 Tabaré Vázquez
2020 Luis Lacalle Pou
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