ELECTIONS HELD IN 1999
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|Cámara de Representantes|
|31 October 1999|
|Elections were held for all the seats in the Chamber of Representatives on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.|
|The legislative and presidential elections held on 31 October 1999 marked the end of the two-party system involving the traditional parties (Blanco and Colorado) which had governed Uruguay since 1922 (apart from the interlude of the military dictatorship from 1973 to 1985). This process began with the last elections of 1994, when the progressive Encounter-Broad Front entered the political arena as a third force. Subsequently, the October 1999 elections confirmed the spectacular rise of this centre-left coalition.
The electoral campaign was dominated by economic issues. Uruguay's economy is healthier than that of Argentina or Brazil, but the country remains highly dependent on its two big neighbours and partners within the Mercosur trading bloc. Nevertheless, Uruguay has also been hit by the recession, by unemployment (nearly 11%) and by poverty that affects 300,000 and has been accompanied by a rise in crime, particularly in the capital where 46% of the people live.
The centre-left coalition won 40 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 12 in the Senate, thereby marking the introduction of a progressive element in the Uruguayan Parliament. Founded in 1971, this Front covers a broad political spectrum bringing together socialists, communists, leftist radicals, Christian Democrats and former members of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement, a guerrilla movement during the 70s.
In the second round of the presidential elections, held on 28 November 1999, Mr. Jorge Batlle, candidate on a Colorado Party ticket, beat first-round winner Tabare Vasquez, the former Mayor of Montevideo and leader of the Broad Front. Mr. Batlle's party benefited from the support of its historic rival, the National (Blanco) Party, in the second round. This support came after the latter's dismal showing on 31 October 1999, when it suffered the worst defeat in its history, going from 41 seats in the outgoing Parliament to 29, in third place after the Broad Front and the Colorado Party.
|Round no 1 (31 October 1999): Elections results|
|Number of registered electors||2 402 014|
|Voters||2 218 035 (92 %)|
|Blank or invalid ballot papers||43 881|
|Valid votes||2 174 154|
|Round no 1: Distribution of seats|
|National (Blanco) Party||22||-9|
|Distribution of seats according to sex:|
|Percent of women:||12.12|
Copyright © 1999 Inter-Parliamentary Union