Parliamentary Chamber: Cámara de Representantes


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  Cámara de Representantes

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  26 November 1989

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats in Parliament on the normal expiry of the members’ term of office.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1989 parliamentary elections were combined with those for President and Vice-President of the Republic, mayors and members of municipal councils.

Main contenders in the presidential race were Mr. Jorge Batlle Ibañez of the ruling Colorado Party, Mr. Luis Alberto Lacalle Herrera of the principal opposition National (Blanco) Party, Gen. Liber Seregni of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front), and Mr. Hugo Batalla of the "New Space" (Nuevo Espacio) group. Each political party was free to run an unlimited number of presidential candidates. Victory went to the party whose candidates’ combined votes were the greatest, and to the candidate of that party whose vote total was highest. Incumbent President Julio Maria Sanguinetti (Colorado) was ineligible for re-election.

As the platforms of the two biggest parties differed little, particularly on economic issues, the campaign centred as much on the personalities of Messrs. Lacalle and Batlle. The left-wing Frente Amplio, for its part, challenged these groups’ programmes of confronting the country’s economic problems (especially inflation and foreign debt) by denationalizing State-owned companies, encouraging a free-market economy and more foreign investment, cutting government spending and renegotiating the large foreign debt. The Frente emphasized the need to lessen social hardship and reduce unemployment.

On polling day, Mr. Lacalle garnered the most presidential votes in the first such success by a Blanco candidate since 1962. However, since his party had not obtained a working majority in Parliament (13 of 31 Senate seats, 39 of 99 House seats), the President-elect was obliged to seek allies, as he had pledged during the campaign. Before taking office in March 1990, he announced the conclusion of an agreement with the centrist Colorado Party. This coalition was reflected in the make-up of the Council of Ministers.

Round no 1 (26 November 1989): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2,300,000 (approx.)
Voters 80% (approx.)

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
National (Blanco) Party 39
Colorado Party 30
Frente Amplio 21
New Space 9

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Copyright © 1989 Inter-Parliamentary Union