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The conservative candidate got 48.7% of the votes, but the difference between the two parties is less that 30,000 votes. Final results will be announced at the end of the week.
The conservative candidate of the Uruguayan National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou, holds a narrow lead over his left-wing rival of the gorverning party Frente Amplio (Broad Front) , Daniel Martínez, with 99% of the votes counted in the second round of elections held this Sunday.
The provisional count says Lacalle has won 48.7% of the votes, compared to 47.5% for Martínez. The difference between the two candidates is currently 28,666 votes. The turnout was 90%, a record in the country.
Because the margin of victory is so small, the electoral authority said it needed to scrutinise 35,229 votes cast by people unable to vote in their designated electoral ward before declaring a definitive winner.
The new president will start his five-year term on March 1, 2020. A win for Lacalle would put an end to 15 years in power for the Broad Front.
LACALLE: “THE RESULT IS IRREVERSIBLE”
“We still have to wait to know the final result. It is clear that whoever wins will not reach 50% of the votes, so that we have the historical task to look for the understandings that allow us to govern for the people”, Martínez said in a speech.
He did not recognise his defeat and pointed out that the opposition “tried to bury us but they didn’t realise we are seeds”.
“Formally, we will know the result in a few days. Unfortunately, the government’s candidate has not recognised a result that from our point of view is irreversible”, Lacalle said on Sunday.
The corsevative candidate is “sure that everyone will collaborate in due course. This week, patience and prudence must be taken to a higher degree. The clouds pass and the blue remains”.
Pastor Jorge Márquez, of Life Mission ministry in Uruguay, told Evangelico Digital that Martínez “does not recognize his defeat because there are still votes to be counted, so that he does not want to recognize anything yet”.
However, “although a percentage of those votes are for Martínez, another percentage is for Luis Lacalle, therefore, his votes will not be enough for Martinez to to beat Lacalle”, Márquez added.