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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 15:44 GMT
Uruguay press joy over new president
Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez greets the people fom the balcony of the Government Palace in Montevideo
Welcoming a new era

Newspapers in Uruguay reflect the national mood of elation after the swearing in of the country's first left-wing President, Tabare Vazquez.

Even those backing the two political movements which dominated Uruguayan politics over the past century before their defeat by Mr Vazquez and his Broad Front of the left are magnanimous in their coverage, largely welcoming his victory as showing the strength of the country's democracy.

The top-circulation daily which supports one of the defeated parties, the Blancos, El Pais, hails what it describes as "this transcendent event, the conjunction of an authentic renovation of political parties in power... reaffirming the workings of our democracy".

There are great expectations
El Observador

The success of a leftist movement happy to subscribe to democratic norms generates a feeling of "emotion and even deep respect", it says.

"The presidency of Dr Vazquez has created new hope for many, but doubt and suspicion for others. We sincerely hope that the passage of time proves the former right, and not the latter."

However, another commentator in the same paper warns the new president against using both his current popularity and the commanding position of his movement in parliament to ride roughshod over the opposition.

Noting that the current economic situation is favourable, the commentator goes on: "The president feels strong, and today he is. But it won't last indefinitely."

It warns that "to confuse an absolute majority with the absolute truth, is to ignore the plurality" on which Uruguayan politics is based.

The independent El Observador dedicates much of its coverage to what it describes as "the transition".

Today, we are all Tabare
La Republica

"An historic day as Uruguay experiences a change of leadership," reads a front-page headline.

"There are great expectations as for the first time in Uruguay's history, the left assumes power."

"Today, we are all Tabare," is the triumphant headline in the unofficial mouthpiece of the Broad Front, La Republica. It describes the inauguration as "the mother of all fiestas", exhorting the people to "Govern, Uruguayans, govern!"

An editorial in La Republica welcomes "the resounding defeat of the right-wing privatisation model" and the fact that "state power will legitimately be under the control of the Uruguayan left".

The paper believes that underlying the policies of the new regime is the desire to foment major changes so that "the most unfortunate sectors will become the most privileged".

The weekly Brecha sees the inauguration of Dr Vazquez as "the most profound political rupture in Uruguay's recent history".

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

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