For the first time in a century, the political power of Uruguay's two traditional parties is being seriously challenged.
For the first time in a century, the political power of Uruguay's two traditional parties is being seriously challenged. The Blanco Party and the Colorado Party have, between them, ruled Uruguay for a century. But in this year's presidential election, they are facing opposition from a major new political alliance, the Frente Amplio, or Broad Front.
Formed in February, the alliance is made up of communists, socialists, Christian Democrats and left-wing splinter groups of the two traditional parties. The Broad Front's challenger for President Pacheco Areco's re-election bid in November is 52-year-old General Liber Seregni, a former army commander of Montevideo. Campaigning for the elections is in full swing, and General Seregni has been holding rallies in Montevideo during this past week.
SYNOPSIS: In Montevideo, campaigning for the November presidential elections is in full swing. Under the complicated constitution of Uruguay, each party can nominate several candidates to challenge President Pacheco Areco. This year, the traditional Blanco and Colorado Parties are facing a new challenge.
Formed in February, Frente Amplio -- the Broad Front -- has put up a strong presidential candidate, General Liber Seregni. The Broad Front is a political alliance made up of communists, socialists, Christian Democrats, and left-wing splinter groups of both the Colorado and Blanco parties. The direct inspiration for the front was the success of Marxist Salvador Allende, in being elected President of Chile last year.
General Seregni, fifty-two, is a former army commander of Montevideo. He says that the Broad Front's political programme rests on three major planks: nationalism of banks, state control of the export industry and agrarian reform. The Front has been careful to avoid any association with the Tupamaros extremists. Most observers believe that the Broad Front will greatly increase its representation in Congress, but they doubt the Front's ability to win the presidency in this election.