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Poll: Socialist Leads Uruguay Race

November 1, 1999

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) _ A socialist was headed for a win in the first round of Uruguay’s presidential ballot Sunday and will face a ruling party opponent in a runoff, according to an exit poll.

Tabare Vazquez, 59, of the leftist Broad Front coalition, captured about 39 percent of the ballot to 32 percent for Jorge Batlle, 73, of the ruling Colorado Party, the independent projection said.

The respected Factum polling group projected that Luis Lacalle, a former president and nominee of the center-right National Party, would finish third with 22 percent and be eliminated from the race.

Two minor candidates lagged far behind in the Factum projection, which was broadcast locally on television.

``This is a night of joy,″ said Vazquez, who went on television anticipating that final returns would give him a first-round victory.

But he said all projections pointed to another month of hard campaigning for a Nov. 28 deciding round and said: ``We have to win two times over.″

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