Colorado Party

Published 10th October, 2014

The Colorado Party or Colorados was founded in 1836 and is the most successful party, until recent times, in Uruguay. The party describes itself as Centre-right but, with a number of factions, has also been described as Centrist by some observers. It believes in Liberalism, Republicanism and Classical liberalism.

The Colorado Party ruled Uruguay from 1865 until 1959, a period of 94 years; although during that time it saw military dictators take control of the party and underwent several civil wars. During that long tenure there were 40 consecutive Colorados Presidents.

In 1959 the Colorados lost to their long time opposition the National Party. The Colorado won again in 1966 and again in 1971 but in 1972 they were deposed by the military until fresh democratic elections were held in 1984.

In the 1984 general election it looked as though Colorados control was restored. Their Presidential candidate, Julio MarĂ­a Sanguinetti, was elected President with 41.2% of the vote and they took 41 of the 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 13 of the 30 seats in the Senate.

Although they lost the 1989 election they were returned to power in 1994 and 1999 elections although they lost their Congressional majority and were forced to enter into a coalition with the National Party. In the 1994 election they won 33 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, that increased by one seat in 1999 but after that they have gone into a decline.

In the 2004 general election the Colorados were knocked into third place for the first time. They took just 10 of the 99 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and three seats in the 30 seat Senate. They did marginally better in 2009, remaining in third place; they won 17 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and five seats in the Senate. The days of Colorados dominance look to be over.

The Colorado Party is a member of the Permanent Conference of Political Parties of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPPPAL).

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