Who is Luis Lacalle Pou, the elected president of Uruguay?

After 15 years, Frente Limpio leaves the presidency and Uruguay makes its way to a rightward turn.

Luis Lacalle Pou, President-elect of Uruguay.

Luis Lacalle Pou, President-elect of Uruguay. / Photo: twitter.com/luislacallepou

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: ¿Quién es Luis Lacalle Pou, el presidente electo de Uruguay?

The result of the elections in Uruguay on November 24 threw Luis Lacalle Pou as the new president, but a 'technical tie' forced a recount. Four days after these preliminary results, the electoral authority confirmed that the winner would be the candidate of Partido Nacional.

As previously reported in LatinAmerican Post, “the results showed 48.71% for Lacalle Pou and 47.51% for Daniel Martínez. The difference of less than 1.5%, representing 27,666 votes, prevented the 46-year-old candidate from becoming the new president of Uruguay. ”Therefore, the Electoral Court had proceeded to make a one-to-one vote counting to determine if the winner was, in effect, Lacalle Pou.

The final result showed that the difference was precise, so the right-wing candidate is the new president of Uruguay and his term will begin in March 2020. Although the results of the first round gave 39.2 percent of the votes to his opponent, Daniel Martínez, against the 28.6 points he obtained, the National Party had the support of the other right-wing parties that had participated in the first electoral round, giving Luis Lacalle Pou an advantage over the first.

Also read: Uruguay still doesn't know who its new president is

On the first day of recount, "Lacalle Pou added 491 votes more than he had on Sunday, and the officialism candidate, Daniel Martinez, lost 142," said El País. Following this trend, the triumph of the then opponent would be irrefutable.

Lacalle Pou in the presidency means a turn to a right-wing but, in addition, it also means that after 15 years, the Frente Limpio coalition will no longer be in power. Faced with these results, Martínez accepted his defeat and recognized the right-wing candidate as the winner. He also said his coalition will continue to fight to maintain democracy in the country.

The youngest president of Uruguay

Luis Lacalle Pou, 46, becomes the youngest person to reach the presidency of the South American country. He comes from a family of politicians, including his father, former president Luis Alberto Lacalle and his great-grandfather, leader of his same party, so he was always struggling to take his country with Partido Nacional by his side. This was the second time he was running for president, the first, in 2014, he was defeated by the current president, Tabaré Vázquez.

Belonging to a wealthy family of the Uruguayan capital and the political family baggage that he has, his critics have criticized him for not being an ideal option that represents the country. However, these opinions were not enough to prevent him from finally coming to the presidency.

His presidential campaign was based on the slogan of his party, 'A Party Ready to Govern', in which he promised to include all political parties to govern together, stating that “after the next election, no one will have a parliamentary majority own. A multicolored coalition will force us all to deepen our listening, dialogue and agreement building capabilities,” as he mentions in his campaign.

The same was proven after the legislative elections where, although Frente Limpio lost some seats, they are still a majority, but other parties, such as Lacalle's own, took forces. Also, these elections resulted in a Parliament with 7 different parties, for the first time so many different are included, thus following the line of what was spoken in campaign by the elected president.

Read also: Left and right-wing face in Uruguayan elections

The government plan

Lacalle Pou's government plan includes 5 cross-cutting themes that he will play during his presidential term:

'A management that takes care of everyone's money': Although at this point it states that Frente Limpio's government had the most extensive resources in the history of the country, their management led to spending more than they raised, finally reaching a deficit. Therefore, among its proposals is efficiency, austerity and the use of technology and control mechanisms.

'Reactivate production and employment': In this section they mainly seek to promote entrepreneurship, creating a National Entrepreneurship Strategy, creating policies to support small businesses. Likewise, open the doors to the rest of the world to promote international markets and foreign investment.

'Recover coexistence': Lacalle has ensured that a transversal axis will be “guaranteeing the safety of people and families is the first duty of the State”. For them, he will create crime prevention and repression plans, as well as a restructuring of the police force.

'Social integration as everyone's task': His government seeks to align the economic characteristics with the social characteristics of the country, because it ensures that, although its GDP puts them globally as a 'middle class' country, there is still a lot of discrimination and sectors with difficulties in accessing education, housing, and employment, among others.

'Bet on knowledge and culture': The education, culture, and growth of ICTs will be a fundamental part of his government, as these characteristics will help in the future to improve other social and economic aspects.