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Uruguay Elects its First Leftist President

Uruguay has elected its first leftist president, Tabare Vazquez, who joins a growing list of left-leaning leaders in South America.

Final results from Sunday's balloting give Mr. Vazquez just over 50 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a run-off.

With the Vazquez victory, Uruguay will join Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela as South American countries with left or left-leaning governments.

The U.S. State Department Monday congratulated Mr. Vazquez on his victory, as did Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

The new Uruguayan leader is an oncologist and former mayor of Montevideo, the capital. He will serve a five-year term beginning March 1.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AP, AFP.