Broad Front

Frente Amplio
PresidentJavier Miranda
Founded5 February 1971
HeadquartersColonia 1367, Montevideo, Uruguay
NewspaperVoces del Frente
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[1]
Social democracy[1]
Political positionCentre-left[2][3] to
International affiliationCOPPPAL
Foro de São Paulo
Socialist International
Progressive Alliance
Alliance of Democrats (Defunct)
Chamber of Senators
13 / 30
Chamber of Deputies
42 / 99
6 / 19
37 / 112
Party flag
Frente Amplio Flag.png

The Broad Front (Spanish: Frente Amplio, FA) is a Uruguayan centre-left to left-wing coalition of political parties. Frente Amplio has close ties with PIT-CNT trade union and the cooperative housing movement. It has been the governing party of Uruguay since 2005; Presidents Tabaré Vázquez and José Mujica are members of the party.


Frente Amplio was founded as a coalition of more than a dozen fractured leftist parties and movements in 1971. The first president of the front and its first candidate for the presidency of the country was General Liber Seregni. The front was declared illegal during the 1973 military coup d'état and emerged again in 1984 when democracy was restored in Uruguay.

In 1994 Progressive Encounter (Encuentro Progresista) was formed by several minor independent factions and the Frente Amplio. EP and FA started contesting elections jointly under the name Encuentro Progresista - Frente Amplio. Later another force, Nuevo Espacio, became linked to the front. Thus it started contesting elections as Encuentro Progresista - Frente Amplio - Nueva Mayoria.

In 2005 member organizations of Progressive Encounter and New Majority (essentially Nuevo Espacio) merged into the front, and the coalition took the name of the larger force, Frente Amplio. Previously, EP and later NM had been allied with FA but organizationally separate structures.

The alliance is - as far as available - formed by:

Pre-2004 election: economic crisis

Starting with the election of Luis Alberto Lacalle of the National Party in 1989, economic reform designed to quickly modernize the country began, which lead to a devaluing of the peso and laws protecting banking secrecy. This secrecy lead to Uruguayan banks becoming a place to launder money from drug and other illegal businesses. By the turn of the century, half the nation had to survive in the informal economy. In 2002, the economic crisis of Brazil and Argentina spread to Uruguay, which crashed as a result of lacking productive power. In August of that year, the nation received 1.5 billion US dollars from the IMF to try and help with the crisis. This was the state of the nation when the Broad Front began campaigning for the 2004 election.[6]

2004 election: Vazquez and economic restoration

The party's victorious 2004 campaign was the first instance of a left-leaning party gaining the majority in Uruguay. Two of the major reasons the party took power in 2004 was that there was a substantial movement towards more moderate policies and that their support of an increased welfare state created a bond with working-class people tired of the neo-liberalist practices of the end of the twentieth century.[7][8]

When Tabaré Vázquez first took the position of President with a Broad Front majority in the Uruguayan congress, he quickly moved to strengthen diplomatic relations with other Latin American countries, including Cuba.[9] Important to the future success of the party is the US$100 million anti-poverty program that Vazquez signed early in his career, which helped to ensure the support of the lower class in future elections.[10] Uruguay was in need of economic reform when Vazquez stepped into power in 2005, as it was struggling to recover from the crisis of 2002 with a third of the country still below the poverty line. An important aspect of the economic development was the new Minister of Economics and Finance, Danilo Astori, who worked to create a good relationship with the IMF and obtained the foreign investment, needed to kick start a paper pulp industry.[11][12] Economic reform was also highlighted by a change in the immigration policy of the US President and increased beef exports to the European Union.[13][14]

2009 election: Mujica and social liberation

Since gaining power, the party has maintained the support of the electorate, as analysis of the 2009 election has led to some conclusions that the trust in the stable government played a large part in keeping the Broad Front in power.[15][16] After the 2009 election, former guerrilla José Mujica became president and during his time in power, a number of leftist social policies were passed. The legalization of abortion, same-sex marriage, and marijuana all occurred under the second consecutive Broad Front majority in the federal government.[17] As noted above, Vazquez vetoed a bill to decriminalize abortion in 2008 but the party as a whole was more supportive of the legalization.[18] Support for legal abortions was universal within the party by 2012, when all party senators voted in favor of a new bill that decriminalized the procedure within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.[19] In April 2013 same-sex marriage was passed, supported by the party who took a hard-line stance against the role of the church in legislation on the matter.[20][21] The most recent of major changes under the Mujica presidency is the legalization of marijuana, which was signed in December 2013.[22] A point of consideration for this event is that legalization was not supported by the general population, but the Broad Front still chose to act in favor of it. The economy continued to grow with Astori transitioning from Minister of Economics and Finance to Vice President, a position he used to continue to advertising Uruguay as a safe place for foreign investment.[23]

2014 election: Vazquez is re-elected

The Broad Front has supported the re-election of Tabaré Vazquez in the 2014 election, which Vazquez won with 56,63% at the second turn, defeating National Party's candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou. During its second mandate, Vazquez faced strong criticism from the opposition because of its refusal to cut political ties with Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro, despite allegations of violations of human rights.

2019 election: out of government

The Broad Front supported Daniel Martinez for the 2019 general election. Martinez arrived first at the first turn, but was defeated in the run-off by Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou of the National Party (and endorsed by the Colorado Party and the Open Cabildo). For the first time in 15 years, the Broad Front was defeated at the polls. The Broad Front also lost its majority and the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate.


Along its history, despite the fact of constantly attracting political factions from other parties, the Broad Front suffered some splits as well:


The Broad Front consists primarily of progressive political parties. It has tended to follow policies favouring a socialist economy with expanded social programs. Not all the parties in the Broad Front can be considered left-wing, indeed some lean towards fiscal conservatism or social conservatism. Uruguay Assembly of Danilo Astori can be considered a centrist party and Astori has followed fiscal conservative policies as finance minister, whereas the Christian Democratic Party is vocally opposed to abortion.

Results in the 2004 internal elections

In 2004 the first internal elections for EP-FA-NM was held. Previously elections had only been held within FA.

List Party Votes %
609 Espacio 609 Movimiento de Participación Popular 148,426 33.18
Izquierda Abierta
Movimiento Claveles Rojos
Columna Blanca
90 Espacio 90 Partido Socialista 79,090 17.68
Movimiento Socialista Emilio Frugoni
Partido por la Seguridad Social
Acción Renovadora
2121 Espacio 2121 Asamblea Uruguay 40,741 9.11
Movimiento Popular Frenteamplista
738 Alianza Progresista Confluencia Frenteamplista 37,628 8.41
Corriente 78
Partido Demócrata Cristiano
Corriente Encuentrista Independiente
77 Vertiente Artiguista Artiguismo y Unidad 34,536 7.72
Izquierda Democrática Independiente
99000 Nuevo Espacio 30,762 6.88
1001 Democracía Avanzada Partido Comunista del Uruguay 26,569 5.94
Frente Izquierda de Liberación
326 Movimiento 26 de Marzo 12,175 2.72
1303 Corriente Popular 8,776 1.96
1813 Liga Federal Frenteamplista 7,425 1.66
5271 Corriente de Izquierda Tendencia Marxista 5,233 1.17
Alternativa Popular 1815 - Espacio Solidario
Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores-CI
Unión Popular
567 Unión Frenteamplista Partido por la Victoria del Pueblo 2,664 0.64
9393 Corriente de Unidad Frenteamplista 2,354 0.53
1968 Partido Socialista de los Trabajadores-IV Internacional 387 0.09
871 Partido Obrero Revolucionario (Trotskista-Posadista) 371 0.08
5205 Movimiento 20 de Mayo 198 0.04
11815 86 0.02
2571 Agrupación 5 de Febrero de 1971 23 0.01
Total: 447,313

Electoral history

Presidential elections

Election Party candidate Votes % Votes % Result
First Round Second Round
1994 Tabaré Vázquez 621,226 30.6% - - Lost Red XN
1999 861,202 40.1% 982,049 45.9% Lost Red XN
2004 1,124,761 51.7% - - Elected Green tickY
2009 José Mujica 1,105,262 48.0% 1,197,638 52.4% Elected Green tickY
2014 Tabaré Vázquez 1,134,187 47.8% 1,226,105 56.2% Elected Green tickY
2019 Daniel Martínez 949,376 40.5% 1,139,353 49.4% Lost Red XN

Chamber of Deputies and Senate elections

Election Votes % Chamber seats +/- Position Senate seats +/- Position
1994 621,226 30.6%
31 / 99
Increase 31 Increase 3rd
9 / 31
Increase 9 Increase 3rd
1999 861,202 40.1%
40 / 99
Increase 9 Increase 1st
12 / 31
Increase 3 Increase 1st
2004 1,124,761 51.7%
52 / 99
Increase 12 Steady 1st
17 / 31
Increase 5 Steady 1st
2009 1,093,869 47.5%
50 / 99
Decrease 2 Steady 1st
16 / 30
Decrease 1 Steady 1st
2014 1,134,187 49.45%
50 / 99
Steady Steady 1st
15 / 30
Decrease 1 Steady 1st
2019 949,376 40.48%
42 / 99
Decrease 8 Steady 1st
13 / 30
Decrease 2 Steady 1st

See also


  1. ^ a b Gregory, Stephen (2009), Intellectuals and Left Politics in Uruguay, 1958-2006, Sussex Academic Press, p. 129, ISBN 9781845192655
  2. ^ Gregory, Stephen (2009), Intellectuals and Left Politics in Uruguay, 1958-2006, Sussex Academic Press, p. 4, ISBN 9781845192655
  3. ^ Mainwaring, Scott; Scully, Timothy R. (2003), "The Diversity of Christian Democracy in Latin America", Christian Democracy in Latin America, Stanford University Press, p. 49, ISBN 9780804745987
  4. ^ Schooley, Helen (2001), "Uruguay — History", South America, Central America and the Caribbean 2002, Europa Publications, p. 760, ISBN 9781857431216
  5. ^ Busky, Donald F. (2002), Communism in History and Theory: Asia, Africa, and the Americas, Praeger Publishers, p. 224, ISBN 9780275977337
  6. ^ (PDF) Retrieved 2018-12-14. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ . doi:10.1107/s160057671801289x/ks5605sup1 (inactive 2020-01-22). Cite journal requires |journal= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ Lorenzoni, Miguel, and Verónica Pérez. "CHANGES AND CONTINUITIES OF THE LEFT IN URUGUAY: AN ANALYSIS FROM THE PROGRAM PROPOSALS OF THE BROAD FRONT 1971-2009 * / Changes and Continuities of the Left in Uruguay: An Analysis of the Broad Front Manifestos, 1971-2009." Uruguayan Journal of Political Science , vol. 22, no. 1, 2013, pp. 81-102 . ProQuest ,
  9. ^ "Uruguay bolsters regional links". 2005-03-02. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  10. ^ Tobar, Hector; D'Alessandro, Andres (2005-03-02). "Leftist Sworn In as Uruguay Leader". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  11. ^ Thomson, Adam. "Uruguay's leftwing coalition impresses markets FT INTERVIEW DANILO ASTORI." Financial Times, 7 June 2005, p. 6. Academic OneFile, Accessed 14 Dec. 2018.
  12. ^ Gudynas, Eduardo, and Villalba M. Carolina. "Growth is Not Development and Brazil is Proof of it." Brazzil, Sep 06, 2007, pp. 1. ProQuest,
  13. ^ Rutenberg, Jim. "In Uruguay, Bush finds friendly ear and taste of home." New York Times, 11 Mar. 2007, p. A4(L). Academic OneFile, Accessed 14 Dec. 2018.
  14. ^ (PDF) Retrieved 2018-12-14. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ Vairo, Daniela; Selios, Lucía (June 2012). "Elecciones 2009 en Uruguay: permanencia de lealtades políticas y accountability electoral". Opinião Pública. 18 (1): 198–215. doi:10.1590/S0104-62762012000100010. ISSN 0104-6276.
  16. ^ Altman, David (2010-09-01). "The 2009 elections in Uruguay". Electoral Studies. 29 (3): 533–536. doi:10.1016/j.electstud.2010.04.014. ISSN 0261-3794.
  17. ^ Romero, Simon, and Mauricio Rabuffetti. "Leftist Reclaims Presidency in Uruguay Election." New York Times 1 Dec. 2014: A4(L). Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 14 Dec. 2018.
  18. ^ "Uruguay's leader quits his party". 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-14.
  19. ^ "Lawmakers in Uruguay vote to decriminalize abortion." EFE World News Service, 17 Oct. 2012. General OneFile, Accessed 14 Dec. 2018.
  20. ^ "Uruguay: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized." New York Times, 11 Apr. 2013, p. A8(L). Academic OneFile, Accessed 14 Dec. 2018.
  21. ^ "Uruguay's senate approves same-sex marriage bill." CNN Wire, 3 Apr. 2013. Academic OneFile, Accessed 14 Dec. 2018.
  22. ^ "Boyne, 10th Viscount, (Gustavus Michael George Hamilton-Russell) (10 Dec. 1931–14 Dec. 1995)", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 2007-12-01, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u171277
  23. ^ "A business climate that protects investment." Latin Trade, Sept.-Oct. 2011, p. 91. Academic OneFile, Accessed 14 Dec. 2018.

External links