Sunday, October 25, 2009

Election Day

Today is election day in Uruguay!

After months and months of campaigning, we shall finally see which party wins the election. Lately, there have been rallies all over Montevideo for each of the different political parties, and volunteers handing out brochures like crazy. I don't think I'll miss receiving 20 pamphlets after a short two-block walk down 18 de Julio.

It appears that there will be no clear winner in the election today. The race is largely between the two frontrunners, Pepe Mujica, former Tupamaros guerrilla fighter and part of the current ruling party, the Frente Amplio, and Luis Lacalle, former president and representative from the Partido Blanco. Elections in Uruguay are compulsory so everyone has to vote or face undesirable consequences.

In addition to selecting a president and a new legislature (through the system of a bunch of really long lists labeled with a number) Uruguayans will also vote on two "plebiscitos," namely whether to repeal the 1986 amnesty law and whether to allow Uruguayans living abroad to vote.

There have been many signs, graffiti, pins, shirts, posters, and whatnot encouraging people to vote "si" to annul the "Ley de Caducidad" which granted amnesty to those accused of human rights abuses during the dictatorship.

I am so excited to see the result of the election. The future of Uruguay will be decided today.

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