Lacalle Pou ends the Frente Amplio era in Uruguay with a “multi-colored coalition”

The biggest challenge for the new president will be to keep his government together


Luis Lacalle Pou will take over as President of Uruguay this Sunday, ending the fifteenth anniversary of the government of the Frente Amplio (FA) thanks to a “multicolored coalition” that extends from the center left of the Independent Party to the far right of the Cabildo Open extends that the biggest challenge of the new cabinet is to stay together.

Lacalle Pou ends the Frente Amplio era in Uruguay with a “multi-colored coalition”
Lacalle Pou ends the Frente Amplio era in Uruguay with a “multi-colored coalition”

Lacalle Pou of the National Party won the executive tower in the second round of the November 24 presidential election, which was boosted by the five parties of his “multicolored coalition”, and thus pursued the defeat in the first round of October 27 on the one that Daniel Defeated Martínez from the broad front.

Lacalle Pou’s will not be the first coalition government in Uruguay. After the military dictatorship (1973-1985), traditional parties began to work together. “National” leader Wilson Ferreira offered “governability” to President-elect Julio María Sanguinetti of the Colorado Party. Already in 1990 Luis Alberto Lacalle, father of Lacalle Pou, invited the “Colorados” to a “national coincidence”.

The first coalition government, “stricto sensu,” was forged in 1995, with Sanguinetti as president and Alberto Volonté of the National Party as spokesman. His successor, Jorge Batlle, also ruled with the support of the National Party and the Civil Union, as well as the New Space of a social democratic nature, but the growing popularity of the broad front ended convergence in the center right.

Based on the October 27 result, Lacalle Pou has sought to form a coalition government that will consist of Uruguay’s two historic formations, the conservative National Party and the Colorado centrist party. for the likewise conservative People’s Party; and for the Independent Party and Open Cabildo.

“It is a hardly politically united group that has formed after the first round of the presidential election.” Even though their parties share a conservative ideology, they still look like rivals, “said the think tank.” Global Americans

It is precisely for this reason that Lacalle Pou tried to achieve a balanced distribution of the portfolios during these months. The main signing is Colorado leader Ernesto Talvi as Secretary of State, while Independent Party leader Pablo Mieres will take over Labor.

However, both the People’s Party and the Open Council have chosen to support Lacalle Pou without seats in the Council of Ministers, despite taking on smaller posts in ministries and public institutions.

Lacalle Pou even approached the Frente Amplio, which will now act as the opposition leader and offer more than 30 positions in various organizations, which has created internal tensions in the left-wing coalition.


Perhaps the biggest threat to the next executive is Cabildo Open, a newly formed party led by retired general Guido Manini Ríos, the country’s fourth political force to leave the elections.

The Secretary of Defense will be “National” Senator Javier García, but the majority of the following positions will be filled by members of the Cabildo Open, suggesting a militaristic turn.

Defense Secretary of State Virtual Secretary of State Rivera Elgue of Cabildo Open recently starred in a controversy, saying that if the armed forces did wrong during the military dictatorship, more would be missing. According to him, there were only 32, but he didn’t consider the victims of the Condor plan.

The next presidency secretary, Álvaro Delgado, had to make it clear that Lacalle Pou did not share Elgue’s opinion, while Manini Ríos defended that “any number of missing people are very serious and unacceptable, even if there were three.” “That is the position of the open town hall,” he decided.


Apart from the gut battles, the biggest challenges for Lacalle Pou will be economic dynamism, combating growing crime, and attracting foreign talent and money, which, according to government partners, would “a priori” lead to a consensus among government partners “Americas Quarterly”.

Uruguay has grown at an annual average of 4.3 percent, but has also amassed a budget deficit of 4.8 percent, the highest in 30 years, making it one of Lacalle Pou’s battlefields that also intends to lose weight State $ 900 million and liberalized the energy sector.

In social terms, more and more Uruguayans are concerned about citizens’ insecurity. Crime increased by 46 percent in 2018, with 414 murders compared to 283 in 2017, making this issue one of the axes of the campaign.

The one who will be Minister of the Interior, the “national” Senator Fernando Larrañaga, advocates a “hard hand” policy. He promoted the 2014 referendum to lower the minimum age for criminal responsibility to 16 years, and another in 2019 as part of the “Life Without Fear” plan to create a national guard and life sentence. In both he won the no.

Lacalle Pou did not support the “Life Without Fear” plan, although the fact that he had rethought Larrañaga for his executive might anticipate a similar policy. “Reducing crime could be a way to maintain support even if other government areas are not delivering significant results,” notes Americas Quarterly, which commemorates the popularity of presidents like Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Nayib Bukele in El Salvador have chosen this approach.

Finally, the elected president said he would try to make Uruguay a magnet for foreigners with talent and money. In particular, 100,000 Argentinians are being persecuted who want to seduce with tax benefits and dormitories. Former President José Mujica has already shaved the idea: “Instead of bringing 100,000 Argentinian crappers with us, we should be concerned that our investors are investing here.”


The return of the right to power by Lacalle Pou, who will be not only the first conservative president in fifteen years but also the first of the National Party since his father, also marks the end of an era dominated by the broad front.

The FA’s three decades, one with Mujica (2010-2015) and two with Tabaré Vázquez (2005-2010 and 2015-2020), were marked by social conquests. Poverty has increased from 40 to 8 percent, same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples have been legalized, as has the production, sale, and consumption of marijuana, a pioneering measure worldwide.

Now the left-wing coalition, which unites from former Tupamaros guerrillas like Mujica to Democrats, has to switch to the opposition, where it has come due to natural wear and tear and broken promises – political analysts agree – and finds a new leader for this phase.

The advantage of Uruguay in the face of this historic change, according to the Americas Quarterly, is that “the level of polarization is low,” so that “although there are serious disagreements, they should not lead to a division policy that has been observed in other parts of the United States region.” and the world. “

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