Oncologist Tabare Vazquez is Uruguay's new president

(AGI) Montevideo, Dec 1 - Tabare Vazquez, a 74-year-oldoncologist, won Uraguay's presidential election on Sunday with53.6 percent of votes. He succeeds Jose Mujica, who shocked theworld with his liberal reforms and penny-pinching. Vazquez, whowas president from 2005 to 2010, topped centre-right rival LuisLacalle Pou of the National Party 53% to 40%. Mr Pou, 41, aconservative, is the son of a former president. Mr Vazquez willlead the third consecutive liberal government, and faces theeconomic challenges of a country with three millioninhabitants. He will also proceed with a plan to put thegovernment

(AGI) Montevideo, Dec 1 - Tabare Vazquez, a 74-year-oldoncologist, won Uraguay's presidential election on Sunday with53.6 percent of votes. He succeeds Jose Mujica, who shocked theworld with his liberal reforms and penny-pinching. Vazquez, whowas president from 2005 to 2010, topped centre-right rival LuisLacalle Pou of the National Party 53% to 40%. Mr Pou, 41, aconservative, is the son of a former president. Mr Vazquez willlead the third consecutive liberal government, and faces theeconomic challenges of a country with three millioninhabitants. He will also proceed with a plan to put thegovernment in charge of regulating the production, distributionand sale of marijuana on a nationwide scale, about which he hadexpressed doubts. This amounts to something of a paradox for adoctor who did not give up his profession during his firstmandate, when he passed extremely tough anti-smoking measures.In 2006, Vazquez turned a country of 3.3 million inhabitantsinto the first South American country to prohibit smoking inpublic places. In 2010, tobacco company Philip MorrisInternational filed a complaint against Uruguay, claiming thatthe country had violated a bilateral investment treaty withSwitzerland, where the company is based, and that up to 80percent of cigarette packs was taken up with anti-smokingwarnings. The authorities in Uruguay, where smoking is onlyallowed in the street, have stressed that the sale of cannabisdoes not amount to liberalisation, but is a state-regulatedmarket. (AGI) . .