Uruguay: a first analysis of the elections

The October 27 elections leave us with a bittersweet taste. On the one hand, Uruguayans have once again said no to an attempted constitutional reform that aimed to militarize and increase repression; on the other, the composition of the new parliament will have a right-wing majority and philo-fascist members.

These elections were marked by two facts: the loss of close to 8 points by the Frente Amplio, which places it in a complex situation, facing a second round, and the excellent (and troubling) result of the extreme right of Cabildo Abierto, which has already announced its integration to a hypothetical right-wing government if the National Party wins the second round.

The Frente Amplio´s fall in votes is not explained only by natural wear. From the government, it has left both its right and left wing unhappy. The loss of votes by the left is the result of the policies it has carried out in recent years, which favored capital over workers (ruling in favor of the bosses in the wages councils), abusing the use of emergency decrees every time workers took to the streets to fight and bowing to the UPM company in favor of the installation of the new polluting paper factory, to name a few cases. And on the right, it loses votes because of its unfulfilled promises in terms of security, which has been main talking point of the right-wing opposition for over 10 years.

These votes were mostly transferred to the traditional parties, and some to Cabildo Abierto, which, being, as we said above, is a clearly fascist organization and feeds on people´s demands and discontents. An example of this is its position to review the agreement signed with UPM and the demand for an independent environmental analysis, or its “fight” against corruption or in favor of housing policies for working class sectors. Cabildo Abierto also attracts the extreme right of the traditional parties, with tougher proposals on security, even proposing forced labor for prisoners. All this explains why they will have three senators and eleven deputies in the next parliament, becoming the fourth political force and stepping on the heels of the traditional Colorado Party.

On the left, Popular Unity had a strong fall in votes due to mistakes made by the majority group of that coalition, such as being linked to movements of agricultural employers such as Un Solo Uruguay and having created a parallel union “central”. For its part, the organization of that coalition with which we agreed to campaign, Compromiso Socialista, opposed those and other mistakes. With a non-sectarian policy, they opened their lists to our organization, allowing us absolute freedom of opinion. Compromiso Socialista was consolidated as the second force of that coalition and achieved a good result in the primaries, considering that it is a new group in Uruguayan politics and that these are the first elections in which they participated. From Rumbo Socialista, we will continue to support this dynamic and strengthen these links in the perspective of building a strong revolutionary alternative for Uruguay.

Federico Martínez