Broad Front

Published 10th October, 2014

The Broad Front or FA was founded on 5th February 1971as a coalition of left-wing parties. It has variously been described as Centre-left and Left-wing reflecting the nature of the coalition and it believes in Democratic socialism, Socialism, Social democracy, Christian left and Marxism.

Soon after its formation, in 1973 the Broad Front was declared illegal by the new military led dictatorship. It was to emerge once more when democracy was restored in 1984.

In the first three democratic elections after 1984 it looked as though the old pattern of the two traditional parties winning elections would be restored with the Broad Front coming in third place with 21 seats in 1984, 21 seats again in 1989 and then 31 seats in the Chamber of Deputies in 1994. But during this period the Broad Front was gaining momentum, taking in an ever larger coalition of parties until in 1999 they made a breakthrough of sorts.

Although the Broad Front didn’t win the Presidential election, their candidate Tabaré Vázquez came second with 45.9% of the vote, they did emerge as the largest party in the 99 seat Chamber of Deputies with 40 seats and with 12 of the 30 seats in the Senate.

In 2004 the breakthrough happened; by now the Broad Front or the Encuentro Progresista-Frente Amplio-Nueva Mayoría had become a mixture of Socialists, former Tupamaros, Communists, Social Democrats, and Christian Democrat. In the Presidential election their candidate once more, Tabaré Vázquez was elected President with 51.7% of the vote. In the Chamber of Deputies they won 53 of the 99 seats and in the Senate they took 17 of the 30 seats.

They repeated their success in 2009 when their Presidential candidate, José Mujica, took 54.63% of the vote in a second round runoff; they won 50 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 16 seats in the Senate to secure their second consecutive term in office.

The Broad Front does not outline the parties involved in the coalition but the Wikipedia entry lists the following parties:

Asamblea Uruguay (Uruguay Assembly)
Partido Socialista del Uruguay (Socialist Party of Uruguay)
Partido Comunista del Uruguay (Communist Party of Uruguay)
Corriente 78 (Current 78)
Nuevo Espacio (New Space)
Vertiente Artiguista (Artiguist Stream)
Movimiento de Participación Popular (Movement of Popular Participation)
Partido Demócrata Cristiano del Uruguay (Christian Democratic Party of Uruguay)
Partido de los Comunes (Party of the Communes)
Confluencia Frenteamplio (Broad Front Confluence)
Alianza Progresista (Progressive Alliance)
Partido por la Victoria del Pueblo (People’s Victory Party)

The Broad Front is a member of Socialist International, the Progressive Alliance, the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPPAL) and Foro de São Paulo.

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