The day of the Presidential elections seemed like any other Sunday until early evening. Around 6.00pm onwards the roads began to fill with cars adorned with flags of red, white and blue, passengers leaning out of the windows shouting, drivers leaning on the horn. Many cars were subsumed with flags of their party and of the nation. The early results indicated that the most friendly looking of the favourite uncles had won, a lefty without a university education who was able to speak to the people in a way that touched them, a way that they could relate to with a relevance that his rival could not. The final vote was 52% – 44%, so 4% had managed to vote for neither candidate, a good start for Revolutionary Apathy given the nil profile of our campaign.
The streets continued to fill for the rest of the evening and into the night, the noise continually building. Anyone would have thought that they had won the world Cup (or in Uruguay’s case, at least a football match), and, I suppose, for the incoming president, financially at least, he probably had.
It started raining at 10:30 but that did not stop the fireworks, the drums, the horns or the crowds and cars draped in flags heading to the city centre rally point. No doubt the lifting of the alcohol ban helped bring people out of their homes but they all seemed very happy with the outcome of the election.