Freedom in the World
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
President José Mujica of the center-left Broad Front coalition developed a conciliatory tone toward the opposition during his first year in office, fostering support among the main opposition parties. However, leftist elements from within his coalition complicated the reform agenda. Separately, former president Juan María Bordaberry received a 30-year prison sentence in February for the 1976 kidnapping and murder of two parliamentary leaders during Uruguay’s dirty war.
Uruguay is an electoral democracy. The 2009 elections were free and fair. The 1967 constitution established a bicameral General Assembly consisting of the 99-member Chamber of Representatives and the 30-member Senate, with all members serving five-year terms. The president is directly elected for a single five-year term.
The national umbrella trade union, the PIT-CNT, held a nation-wide general strike in October 2010, demanding wage increases and protesting against proposed reforms to the bloated and inefficient public administration. The guiding principles for these reforms had been announced in August and included ending the immobility of public servants, reforming the civil service, and establishing a new pay system. The decision to hold the first general strike under José Mujica’s government was divisive within the union movement and reflected an increase in opposition from the radical left within the president’s alliance.