Uruguay in the 1990’s

By | December 20, 2021

The long liberal-democratic and parliamentary tradition of the Uruguay, already put in crisis by the growth of the guerrilla movement of the Tupamaros – strongly rooted in the population of the cities since the mid-1960s – was definitively overwhelmed in 1973 by a coup d’état. State. Only after twelve years of ruthless military dictatorship, in 1985, was the return of civil power possible, which took place under the banner of substantial continuity with the past. The political life of the country therefore resumed being dominated by the two historical parties of the colorados (Partido Colorado, PC) and the blancos (Partido Nacional, PN). The original aspirations of the two parties (which had held the monopoly of Uruguayan political life for 150 years), respectively democratic for the first and conservative for the second, had however gradually been homogenized until they converged on a substantial identity of liberal-style programs. – conservative. The political confrontation had thus ended up being linked to the personal characteristics of the various political exponents and to the presence of family ties that delineated, within each party, situations of a ‘dynastic’ type.

The electoral law that allowed each party to stand in presidential consultations with multiple candidates, all votes of which ultimately went to the best placed candidate, had helped to strengthen personalisms and localisms and pushed the parties to occupy the widest political space without great attention to ideological and programmatic coherence. This scenario underwent an abrupt and relatively unexpected change when, with the 1994 elections, the left-wing grouping, Encuentro Progresista, he almost succeeded in getting his own presidential candidate elected. Until then, the left had constituted a minority and witness presence in the political landscape of the Uruguay another state of the subcontinent – and from the growth, up to the early seventies, of a subversive and revolutionary wing. For Uruguay 1996, please check pharmacylib.com.

Following the victory of the CP in the presidential elections in November 1994, JM Sanguinetti, in office since March 1995 at the head of a government including members of the PN and minor moderate formations, immediately started a reform of the social security and social security system within a vast program of liberalization of the economy. The choices of the new executive aroused the harsh opposition of the trade unions and a vast social discontent, expressed as early as June 1995in a massive general strike. Despite the protests, however, the new legislation was passed in August and followed by a series of measures aimed at restructuring the civil service sector. This earned the Uruguay new loans from the International Monetary Fund, disbursed in March 1996 and June 1997.

In July 1995 the system for the elections of the President of the Republic was also changed: the controversial system (known as ley de lemas, law of flags) which allowed each party to present more candidates and the double round was established. While the first modification obtained the support of the opposition, the establishment of a ballot system, strongly desired by the governing parties fearful of the growth of the left and ready to ally themselves in the eventual second round, met strong resistance in the left side, much that it was only in October 1996 that the government managed to find the necessary majority to approve it. A referendum, held the following December, definitively ratified, with the50.5 % of the votes, constitutional amendments.

In the following years, the political agreement between the CP and PN was strengthened, while in the coalition of left parties, contrasting positions began to emerge both on privatizations and on the unresolved question of the disappeared. This, which emerged already at the end of the 1980s, was strongly reappeared in 1999, when the case of the grandson of the Argentine poet J. Gelman who died during the years of the dictatorship exploded, testifying to the difficulties that the country encountered in achieving real peace..

The Frente Amplio – Encuentro Progresista however found its compactness in the face of the accentuation of the neoliberal approach of the government’s economic policy which, in order to counter the effects of the financial crisis that occurred in autumn 1998 in Brazil (one of the major commercial partners of the Uruguay), launched further restrictive measures with heavy repercussions on employment. The steady growth of opposition forces emerged dramatically in the general elections in October and November 1999, when the Frente Amplio – Encuentro Progresista became with 38.5 % of the vote the first party in both the House (40 seats) and the Senate (12seats). The CP obtained only 31.3 % of the votes (33 seats in the Chamber and 10 in the Senate) and the PN obtained 21.3 % (22 and 7 seats).

The success reported by the left was the result of a program that included an emergency plan to create jobs, social investments, tax increases for the highest incomes and credits to medium and small industries.

Even the first round of the presidential elections, held at the same time, saw the affirmation of the candidate of the left T. Vázquez, mayor of Montevideo, who obtained 39 % of the votes. Despite the further increase in consensus – in fact he reached 45 % of the votes – Vázquez was defeated in the ballot by the Colorado party candidate J. Battle, who could count on the votes of the PN and who was elected president with 54.1 % of the votes, but which in any case the relative majority won by the left in Parliament required a difficult coexistence.

Uruguay Frente Amplio