posted at 19:50
Author Name: Ana Inés Cibils
Leftist Vazquez wins Uruguay presidential runoff
Vazquez, a 74-year-old cancer doctor who previously served as president from 2005 to 2010, had won 55.5 percent of the vote with almost 72 percent of the ballots counted. In a victory speech before cheering supporters undaunted by a rain-soaked election day, Vazquez called for a new approach to face the country's "New challenges." The small South American country will now watch to see how Vazquez, a straight-laced politician with a formal style, handles the take-over from Mujica, a former guerrilla fighter famous for living in a run-down farmhouse and donating most of his salary to charity. Vazquez, who starts his new term on March 1, has at times clashed with Mujica within the FA. The president-elect cuts a much more sober figure than his popular predecessor, who still drives around in his beat-up Volkswagen Beetle and is known as "The world's poorest president." The marijuana law, his landmark initiative, may face an uncertain future in Vazquez's hands. Vazquez, who made strict anti-tobacco legislation one of his top priorities in his first term, has spoken out forcefully against smoking pot, called the idea of pharmacy sales "Incredible" and said that if elected he would make "Any corrections necessary" to the law. Vazquez presided over five years of economic growth, boosted by a favorable global climate that unleashed Latin America's so-called "Golden decade." Vazquez will likely have to make tougher decisions on economic policy this time around.

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