Monday, 26 October 2009

Uruguayan exit polls see second-round run-off between Mujica, Lacalle

October 26, 2009

Uruguayan former president Luis Alberto Lacalle votes at a polling station for the presidential election in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, on Oct. 25, 2009. A total of 2.5 million voters went to polling stations across the country to vote for the president. (Xinhua/Nicolas Celaya)

Uruguayan exit polls suggested that ruling party candidate Jose Mujica would narrowly miss the chance to secure an outright win over his rival Luis Lacalle in the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday and have to race in a run-off.

Cifra and Factum, Uruguay's top two pollsters, showed Mujica, the favorite candidate, pocketed between 47 and 49 percent of the vote.

Luis Eduardo Gonzalez, director of polling firm Cifra said the ruling Broad Front coalition performed similarly in 2004, when the incumbent President Tabare Vazquez took office with 50.4 percent of the vote.

Gonzalez said the most likely result was that Mujica would have to go into a second round with opposition National Party candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle, who was president from 1990 to 1995.

According to Cifra's survey, Lacalle has secured 34 percent of the vote.

According to Uruguayan Constitution, candidates must win at least 50 percent in the first round to avoid a runoff, provisionally scheduled for Nov. 29.

The polling stations opened at 8:00 a.m. (1000 GMT), and closed at 7:30 p.m. local time (2130 GMT).

Around 90 percent of the nation's 2.5 million residents voted, according to Electoral Court officials.

Uruguay ruling party candidate Jose Mujica walks into a casting station to cast his vote during a Uruguayan National elections in Montevideo October 25, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Mujica was one of the first to vote, in Cerro, his home district in the west of the capital Montevideo. He described the vote as a "civic festival for all Uruguayans."

Results are due around 8:30 p.m. local time (2230 GMT). During general elections, a vice president, senators and deputies will also be elected.

Source: Xinhua

No comments: