Municipal elections in Uruguay: the left seeks to retain Montevideo

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It is the first electoral challenge for the center-right president Luis Lacalle Pou. Mayors are elected on Sunday, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Uruguay’s left is betting on retaining the government of Montevideo, its bastion for 30 years, in the departmental and municipal elections this Sunday, which will be held under precautions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Around 2.6 million Uruguayans are summoned to elect the mayors of the 19 departments of the country, as well as mayors, councilors and members of the 19 local legislative boards.

But once again the spotlights will be on Montevideo, where more than a third of the population lives (1.3 of the 3.4 million inhabitants) and where everything indicates that the leftist Frente Amplio (FA) will be reelected once again, as has happened uninterruptedly since 1989.

Engineer Carolina Cosse leads the voting intention polls within the FA, followed by doctor Álvaro Villar and engineer and former mayor Daniel Martínez, who lost the presidential elections to center-right Luis Lacalle Pou, and is now going for reelection in the capital.

The three face the economist Laura Raffo, the only nominee of the government coalition, who surpasses them individually, but does not reach the figures of the three combined Frente Amplio. And in the Uruguayan departmental elections, the most voted candidate of the most voted party wins, so the victory of a leftist candidacy is practically inevitable.

Of the other five municipalities that the FA has, it will retain Canelones with total certainty, the second most populated department in the country, and it has high possibilities of also maintaining the governments of Salto and Rocha. The definition in Río Negro and Paysandú is more closed.

In the remaining 13 departments, forces of the government coalition would win, led by the National Party (Blanco) of the center-right president Lacalle Pou, who with his inauguration on March 1 cut off 15 years of frontist administrations.

The election that will take place this Sunday was originally scheduled for May 10, but the covid-19 pandemic determined its postponement. With the numbers of infections under “relative control” in Uruguay, the electoral authorities presented a health protocol that requires the use of masks and respect physical distancing in voting centers.

Applying gel alcohol before taking the envelope, which cannot be closed with saliva, is another requirement. In addition, the officials who will work at the tables may not touch the civic credentials or voting envelopes.

While, voters arriving from abroad must submit a negative covid-19 result to enter the country and perform quarantine, stating telephone number and address, and you can only go out to vote.

The person will not be able to receive visitors and must avoid all social contact. If you stay in the country for more than four days, on the fifth you will have to take a second test, always at your own cost.

It is estimated that between 8,000 and 10,000 qualified to vote could arrive from Brazil, which has raised alarms in particular in the border department of Rivera, which is currently fighting various sources of contagion.

Uruguay stands out for its successful control of the new coronavirus pandemic: it registers less than 2,000 cases and 47 deaths from the disease. And since July it has relaxed the restrictions.

Source: AFP

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