Stable Uruguay has developed-nation aspirations

The new administration in Montevideo, under Luis Lacalle Pou, has some promising goals for the near future, but they will depend on improvement in many of the key social and economic factors in Uruguay. As the global economy slows down, so too does Uruguay’s – the country faces the challenge of funding its many social programs through its primary export of agricultural commodities for which prices have stagnated. The president-elect has promised to address the slow growth in GDP as soon as he takes office. The rise in crime and recent drug busts have created a heightened sense of insecurity among the populace, which Mr. Lacalle Pou hopes to address through more militarized policies, contrary to the approach of the previous administration. He may struggle to find consensus in government given some of the divide between coalitions and his dependence on votes from the more radical leader Manini Rios. The opposition, consisting of the previous administration’s Frente Amplio, is largely fragmented. Mr. Lacalle Pou will need to balance social demands with economic development if Uruguay is to remain one of the most stable countries in Latin America.

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