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Cámara de Representantes (House of Representatives)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Asamblea General / General Assembly
Structure of parliament Bicameral
Chamber name (generic / translated) Cámara de Representantes / House of Representatives
Related chamber (for bicameral parliaments) Cámara de Senadores / Senate
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 25 October 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the House of Representatives on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
At stake in the 2009 elections were all 99 seats in the House of Representatives and the 30 seats in the Senate. They were held in parallel with the presidential elections and two referenda: one on whether to repeal the amnesty law concerning human rights abuses committed during the military rule between 1973 and 1985 and another on allowing voters abroad to use postal ballots.

In the previous elections held in October 2004, the Broad Front (Frente Amplio, FA) coalition - comprising the Progressive Encounter, the Broad Front and the New Majority - took 53 seats in the House of Representatives and 17 in the Senate. The FA's victory effectively ended 170 years of political control by the National Party (PN) and the Colorado Party (PC). The former took 34 seats in the House and 10 in the Senate, while the latter won 10 and three seats respectively. The Independent Party (PI) took the two remaining seats in the House of Representatives. The FA candidate, Mr. Tabaré Vázquez, won the run-off presidential elections in November 2004.

Upon assuming office in March 2005, Mr. Vázquez implemented large public works, including the construction of a new airport, and distributed personal computers to school children. Despite the global economic crisis, the country's economy remained stable. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to rise by 1.2 per cent in 2009.

In March 2009, the House of Representatives approved a law to increase the percentage of women on the candidates' lists for elections at all levels. However, it will only apply as of the parliamentary elections due in 2014 (see note).

In the 2009 elections, the FA endorsed Senator José Mujica as its presidential candidate. A former member of the rebel Tupamaros National Liberation Movement (MLN), he was challenged by former president Luis Alberto Lacalle (PN) and Mr. Pedro Bordaberry (PC), the son of former president Juan María Bordaberry.

The FA pledged to solve housing problems, create jobs and fight poverty. Mr. Mujica, who advocates a simple life, ran on an anti-consumerism platform. He used public transport during the election campaign. Thanks to his popularity, the FA reportedly enjoyed increasing support from the youth, the poor and the liberal classes.

The PN pledged to work for security, employment and independence. It also promised to remove the income tax introduced by the FA government.

PC leader Bordaberry promised a lower tax burden for people and promised to establish a merit-based pay system.

Although voting is compulsory, only 89 per cent of the 2.6 million registered voters cast their ballot.

The FA retained the majority in both chambers, taking 50 seats in the House of Representatives and 16 in the Senate. The PN took 30 and nine seats respectively. The PC followed with 17 and five. The PI, led by Mr. Pablo Mieres, retained two seats in the House of Representatives. Fourteen women were elected to the House of Representatives and four to the Senate.

Neither referendum received the required majority: 47 per cent of the voters supported the abolition of the amnesty law while 36 per cent supported the postal ballot for overseas citizens.

No candidate won the required majority in the presidential elections to be elected in the first round. The run-off elections between Mr. Mujica (FA) and Mr. Lacalle (PN), backed by the PC, were held on 29 November. Mr. Mujica (FA) was elected with over 52 per cent of the votes.

On 15 February 2010, the newly elected members were sworn in. The House of Representatives elected Ms. Ivonne Passada (FA) as its new Speaker for one year. The Senate elected Ms. Lucía Topolansky (FA), wife of the President-elect Mujica, as its President for a period of 15 February to 1 March 2010. It was the first time that both chambers in Uruguay were led by female presiding officers.

On 1 March, Mr. Mujica (FA) was sworn in as the country's President along with his deputy, Mr. Danilo Astori (FA). The latter assumes the posts of President of the General Assembly and Senate President for five years.

Party lists must comprise candidates of both sexes in every three places from the beginning to the end of the list, or at least in the first 15 places of the list. This rule applies to both the list of titular and substitute members. In the electoral districts used for the House of Representatives where only two seats are being contested, the two titular candidates must include one man and one woman. The government promulgated the law (No. 18.476) on 13 April, but it will only apply starting from the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2014.
Voter turnout
Round no 125 October 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
2'304'686 (89.91%)

Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Broad Front (FA) 50
National Party (PN) 30
Colorado Party 17
Independent Party (PI) 2
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: IPU Group (04.12.2009, 01.01.2010,15.12.2011)

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