Former Rebel Jose Mujica is Uruguay’s Next President
Former guerilla rebel leader Jose Mujica won the presidential run-off elections of Uruguay, Sunday, November 29, defeating former president Luis Alberto Lacalle who conceded in the name of national unity.
With polls showing results of 51.7% Mujica and 44.1% Lacalle, the former president conceded defeat saying that he didn’t want a divided country. Mujica will take office on March 1, 2010 and will serve for five years.
He ran with Danilo Astori as his vice president. Mujica said that he will hand the running of the $32 billion Uruguayan economy to Astori, as he was a f0rmer Minister of Economy and Finances.
The president-elect vows to take a moderate path by continuing investor-friendly policies, improve education, reduce poverty and fight crime.
Mujica, 74, led a revolt against a democratically elected government in the 1960s and early 1970s. He was captured in 1972 and was released 14 years later under a general amnesty program. He was a former Senator and a former Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries under the current President Tabare Vazquez.