Parliamentary Chamber: Cámara de Representantes


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  Cámara de Representantes

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  27 November 1994

Purpose of elections:

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

Background and outcome of elections:

  The 1994 parliamentary elections were held concurrently with those for President of the Republic, 19 governorships and hundreds of provincial and municipal posts.

The presidential race to succeed Mr. Luis Alberto Lacalle of the National (Blanco) Party, constitutionally barred from running, was contested by a number of candidates, each party being entitled to field several. Foremost among these were Julio Maria Sanguinetti of the main opposition Colorado Party, Mr. Alberto Volonté of the ruling Blanco and Montevideo Mayor Tabare Vasquez of the Progressive Encounter group, the leading party of the left-wing Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition. Economic issues dominated the campaign debate. Mr. Sanguinetti advocated moderate, social-democratic alternatives to the liberalisation programs that Mr. Lacalle had initiated and advised caution in reducing international trade barriers so as not to jeopardise Uruguay’s industrial sector in the face of foreign competition stemming primarily from the Mercosur customs union with Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay slated to enter into force in 1995. Mr. Sanguinetti furthermore stressed the importance of promoting exports to reduce Uruguay’s growing trade deficit and of combating unemployment (standing at 8%). The Blanco candidates, for their part, defended the outgoing Government’s policy of fiscal control, privatisation and reduction of inflation.

On polling day, Mr. Sanguinetti emerged victorious while his centrist Colorado Party also topped its opponents in both Houses of the General Assembly. However, the parliamentary seats were almost evenly split in three, with the Frente Amplio’s strong performance effectively ending the traditional two-party dominance of Uruguayan politics. Both outcomes were the closest in years. There were altogether 71 newcomers to the Chamber of Representatives and 21 to the Senate.

On 1 March 1995, Mr. Sanguinetti was inaugurated President, recapturing the post he had already held from 1985 to 1990. Meanwhile, in the General Assembly, the Colorado Party, lacking an absolute majority, was obliged to find a modus vivendi with its two main rivals. The new Cabinet comprised members of Colorado and three other parties.

Round no 1 (27 November 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 2,330,154
Voters 2,130,618 (91.43%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 101,337
Valid votes 2,029,281

Round no 1: Distribution of votes  
Political Group Votes %
Colorado Party 656,183 32.5
National (Blanco) Party 633,384 31.4
Progressive Encounter 620,178 30.8
Others 104,656 5.3

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Colorado Party 32
National (Blanco) Party 31
Progressive Encounter 31
Others 5

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 92
Women: 7

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Copyright © 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union