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Peaceful Uruguay heads to presidential runoff

It could have been a tense scene anywhere else in South America: With an election nearing, campaigners for Uruguay’s governing left-wing Broad Front faced off in a park with members of the opposing center-right coalition. Flags and signs waved as a loudspeaker blared the catchy campaign jingle of the Broad Front.

Instead of a fight, the two sides started dancing together — a scene shared widely on social media.

Even a closely fought campaign ahead of Sunday’s election so far hasn’t been enough to drag Uruguay toward the sort of bitter confrontations that have been wracking other nations across the continent.

Uruguay's presidential candidate for the Broad Front ruling party, Daniel Martinez, gestures during his speech at a cultural event in Montevideo, Uruguay,Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between Daniel Martinez and the presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou . (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

Polls indicate that Sunday’s runoff vote could bring an end to 15 years of center-left rule, with the National Party’s Luis Lacalle Pou leading the Broad Front’s Daniel Martínez.

Uruguay's presidential candidate for the National Party Luis Lacalle Pou speaks during his closing campaign rally in Las Piedras, Uruguay, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou and Daniel Martinez, of the ruling party Broad Front. (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

Uruguay's presidential candidate for the National Party Luis Lacalle Pou,takes a selfie with a supporter at the end of the campaign closing rally in Las Piedras, Uruguay, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou and Daniel Martinez, of the ruling party Broad Front. (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

Uruguay's presidential candidate for the National Party Luis Lacalle Pou, center, speaks during his closing campaign rally in Las Piedras, Uruguay, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou and Daniel Martinez, of the ruling party Broad Front. (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

Uruguay's presidential candidate for the ruling Broad Front political party, Daniel Martinez, poses for a photo with a disabled supporter during a cultural event in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between Daniel Martinez and the presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou . (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

A girl chases after soap bubbles during a political event of the ruling Broad Front political party in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between Daniel Martinez and the presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou . (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

Supporters of Uruguay's presidential candidate for the Broad Front ruling party, Daniel Martinez, cheer as he speaks during a cultural event in Montevideo, Uruguay,Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between Daniel Martinez and the presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou . (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)

Supporters of Uruguay's presidential candidate for the National Party Luis Lacalle Pou cheer during his closing campaign rally in Las Piedras, Uruguay, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Uruguay will hold run-off presidential elections on Nov. 24 between presidencial candidate for the National Party, Luis Lacalle Pou and Daniel Martinez, of the ruling party Broad Front. (AP PhotoMatilde Campodonico)