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The Politics of Uruguay abide by a presidential representative democratic republic, under which the President of Uruguay is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as a multiform party system. The president exercises executive power and Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the General Assembly of Uruguay. The Judiciary branch is independent from that of the executive and legislature.

The Colorado and National parties have been locked in a power struggle, alternating throughout most of Uruguay's history. The elections of 2004, however, brought the Encuentro Progresista-Frente Amplio-Nueva Mayoría, a coalition of socialists, former Tupamaros, communists, social democrats, and Christian Democrats among others to power with majorities in both houses of parliament. A majority vote elected President Tabaré Vázquez.



Uruguay adopted its first constitution in 1830, following the conclusion of a three year war in which Argentina and Uruguay fought as a regional federation: the United Provinces of Río de la Plata. Sponsored by the United Kingdom, the 1828 Treaty of Montevideo built the foundations for a Uruguayan state and constitution. Attempts to reform the 1830 constitution in 1966 led to the adoption of an entirely new document in 1967. A constitution proposed under a military revolution in 1980 was rejected by a vote of the entire electorate.

Executive branch

Uruguay's president Tabare Vazquez

Uruguay's Constitution of 1967 created a strong presidency, subject to legislative and judicial balance. Many of these provisions were suspended in 1973 but reestablished in 1985.  The president, who is both the head of state and the head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term, with the vice president elected on the same ticket. Thirteen cabinet ministers, appointed by the president, head various executive departments.

Legislative branch

The General Assembly (Asamblea General) has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Cámara de Diputados) has 99 members, elected for a five year term by proportional representation. The Chamber of Senators (Cámara de Senadores) has 31 members; 30 members are elected for a five year term by proportional representation and the Vice-president who presides over it.

Judicial branch

The Supreme Court is the highest court. Its judges are elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly. Below the Supreme Court are appellate and lower courts, as well as justices of the peace. There are also electoral courts and administrative ("contentious") courts, an accounts court, and a military justice system.

Direct democracy

Campaigners for plebiscite in favor of increasing State-control over water resources. The flag on the right reads 'The water... belongs to all'

The Uruguayan constitution allows citizens to challenge laws approved by Parliament by use of a referendum or to propose changes to the Constitution by the use of a plebiscite.

Political parties and elections

e • d  Summary of the 31 October 2004 Uruguay presidential elections election results
Candidates - Parties Votes %
Tabaré Vázquez (Broad Front – Progressive Encounter – New Majority) 1,124,761 51.67
Jorge Larrañaga (National Party) 764,739 35.13
Guillermo Stirling (Colorado Party) 231,036 10.61
Pablo Mieres (Independent Party) 41,011 1.89
Victor Lissidini (Intransigent Party) 8,572 0.39
Aldo Lamorte (Civic Union Party) 4,859 0.22
Julio Vera (Liberal Party) 1,548 0.07
Rafael Fernández (Workers Party) 513 0.02
Total (turnout 89.6 %)  
Source: Electoral Court
e • d  Summary of the 31 October 2004 General Assembly of Uruguay election results
Parties and alliances Votes Chamber of Deputies Chamber of Senators
% Seats % Seats
Broad Front – Progressive Encounter – New Majority (Frente Amplio – Encuentro Progresista – Nueva Mayoría) 51.7 52 17
National Party (Partido Nacional-Blancos) 35.1 36 11
Colorado Party (Partido Colorado) 10.6 10 3
Independent Party (Partido Independiente) 1.9 1 -
Total (turnout  %)   99   31
Source: Electoral Court and El País Uruguay, Angus Reid

International organization participation

Uruguay or Uruguayan organizations participate in the following international organizations:

External links

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since

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