Presenting the President of Uruguay - José Mujica
Upon winning more than 50% of the votes cast in a run-off election in late November 2009, Uruguay hailed the election of a new president of Uruguay 74 year old José Mujica
A member of the Broad Front political party, Mujica defeated former President Luis A. Lacalle of the center right National Party, and officially assumed his position as leader of Uruguay on March 2, 2010. Mujica succeeded President Tabaré Vazquez who is a highly respected and popular politician, much admired by the People of Uruguay.
José Alberto Mujica is otherwise known as El Pepe. This outspoken, maverick politician was born on May 20, 1935 in Montevideo Uruguay. He is one of the few governing officials in the world to evolve from rebel activist to polished and respected elder statesman.
As the new President, Mujica is determined to better the lives of the people of Uruguay and establish a variety of innovative social, education and cultural programs.
Though active in the National Party in his youth, Mujica joined the Tupamaros movement in the early 1960s. At this time the Tupamaros was a newly formed political group which had been spawned by the Cuban revolution.
Jose Mujica fought for reform with his comrades and he never lost sight of the ideals, reforms and justice that he dreamed he could help bring to Uruguay.
Although he spent time in prison, and was even isolated in the bottom of a well for many months Mujica continued to work for the country and people he loved.He never dared to imagine that he would one day be elected as the President.
Throughout the following two decades he maintained contact and alliances with the Tupamaros organization. During 1985, when democracy was restored in Uruguay, Jose Mujica and other left-wing organizations formed a Broad Front, coalition-accepted political party named the Movement of Popular Participation.
Accelerating his career as a prominent politician, Jose Mujica was then elected deputy in the general elections that occurred in 1994.
Then in 1999 he was again elected to office. This time he became a senator as his supporters continued to grow in number and even then the rumblings about a possible run for the office of President of Uruguay could be heard.
The Movement of Popular Participation continued to grow in popularity, in large part due to Mujica's unique combination of personal magnetism, charismatic political savvy and his broad appeal to the voting populace.
By 2004, the movement had grown to become the Broad Front's largest single political organization. In that same year, Mujica was re-elected to the Senate.
This powerful position in the Uruguay Government helped him ultimately play a crucial role in the election Tabaré Vazquez as President of Uruguay.
Having been raised in a farming community and possessing the necessary qualifications for the job, José Mujica was an obvious choice when President Vazquez designated him as the Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries in 2005.
Upon his induction as minister of the department, he resigned as Senator and maintained his position as the minister of LAF until he vacated that post in 2008 to resume his Senate seat. The time was right for Jose Mujica to advance his own political aspirations and he set his sights on the office of President of Uruguay.
Despite his past status as former guerrilla fighter Mujica's intelligence, persuasiveness and ability to "think outside the box" would all be significant factors that would help propel him to the top of popular polls.
His gruff and often direct style, sense of fairness and "down-home" political style are all personal traits that are held in high regard by the people of Uruguay.
This is especially true when it came to connecting the Uruguay government with the needs of the poorer, more rural regions which held large numbers of potential voters. These were the people that the former left wing government party often found difficult to bring onboard.
The people of Uruguay showed their support by electing Jose Mujica as their new President of Uruguay in the 2009 campaign.
The newest President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, has been dubbed a man who "speaks the language of the people".
Although from time to time he has come under censure for making inappropriate or non-politically correct remarks in his speeches there can be no doubt about the high levels of respect and admiration the newest President of Uruguay commands from the people of Uruguay.
As a close friend and colleague of Brazilian president, Lula da Silva Mujica has been able to gain a great deal of knowledge about positive negotiations and has seen how broad governmental policies can be implemented to help the people of both countries.
He has openly vowed to maintain an open minded political style as he moves his country forward and he is already working to establish a foundation that will help develop and strengthen future negotiations with the European Union and the Mercosur.
In 2005, Mujica married his long-time companion, Senator Lucia Topolansky. It was this woman who fought alongside him during his days as a member of the Tupamaros movement. The couple does not have any children but they are active in many causes to help improve the lives of families and children in Uruguay.
The President of Uruguay and his First Lady maintain a low key lifestyle, and they currently are residing on a small, modest farm located just beyond the Uruguay capital city of Montevideo.