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Conservative Lacalle Pou wins Uruguay presidential election, ending 15 years of leftist rule

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Center-right candidate Luis Lacalle Pou won Uruguay's presidential election Thursday after his rival conceded, bringing an end to 15 years of leftist rule in the South American country.

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Daniel Martinez, candidate for the ruling Broad Front, recognized that an ongoing vote recount would not affect his already slim chance of victory and conceded.

"We greet president-elect Luis Lacalle Pou, with whom I will have a meeting tomorrow," Martinez wrote in a tweet. "I thank everyone who placed their trust in us by casting their vote for us from the bottom of my heart."

La evolución del escrutinio de los votos observados no modifica la tendencia.Por lo tanto saludamos al presidente electo @LuisLacallePou ,con quien mantendré una reunión mañana. Agradezco de corazón a quienes confiaron en nosotros con su voto.

— Ing. Daniel Martínez (@Dmartinez_uy) November 28, 2019

The National Party acknowledged victory in a tweet saying: "Now it's our turn, let's celebrate everybody's Uruguay!"

The news set off a cacophony of horn blowing in downtown Montevideo by Lacalle Pou supporters.

Lacalle Pou, a business-friendly conservative, will take power on March—1 at the head of a right-wing coalition of five parties.

The president-elect has been holding talks with party leaders on the makeup of the new government.

Ernesto Talvi, leader of the Colorado Party, is expected to be named Uruguay's foreign minister, the daily El Pais reported.

The election result signals a significant shift in foreign policy, with the incoming right-wing administration making no secret of their intention to recognize Venezuela's opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim president and the socialist Nicolas Maduro as illegitimate.

The move will reverse current Uruguay policy under President Tabaré Vázquez, which -—contrary to most Latin American governments—- continues to recognize Maduro as president.

Guaido saluted Lacalle Pou's victory on Thursday. "We know that we have your support in the struggle for democratic restoration that we wage in Venezuela," Guaido said in a tweet.

Felicito a todo el pueblo uruguayo y a su Presidente electo @LuisLacallePou.

Cuente con toda nuestra disposición de trabajar unidos por nuestros pueblos. Sabemos que contamos con su apoyo en la lucha por la restauración democrática que libramos en #Venezuela.

— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) November 28, 2019

Recount call

Martinez had refused to concede on Sunday when the election was deemed too close to call by the electoral court, with just 30,000 votes separating the candidates.

The court ordered a recount on the grounds that the number of provisional or contested votes -—around 35,000—- exceeded the margin between the candidates.

Lacalle Pou told supporters he was confident his victory would be confirmed, however.

Opinion polls since last month's first round had indicated Read More – Source

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