World

Uruguayans vote for new president in tight election, marijuana reform in peril

  • Presidential candidate for the ruling Broad Front party Tabare Vazquez, left, embraces a follower after casting his vote during general elections in Montevideo, Uruguay, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Uruguay’s presidential election is set to go into a runoff as undecided voters could opt for change on Sunday, despite an economic boom and social reforms led by the ruling Broad Front coalition. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Presidential candidate for the ruling Broad Front party Tabare Vazquez, left, embraces a follower after casting his vote during general elections in Montevideo, Uruguay, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Uruguay’s presidential election is set to go into a runoff as undecided voters could opt for change on Sunday, despite an economic boom and social reforms led by the ruling Broad Front coalition. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Uruguay's President Jose Mujica casts his vote during general elections in Montevideo, Uruguay Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Uruguay’s presidential election is set to go into a runoff as undecided voters could opt for change on Sunday, despite an economic boom and social reforms led by the ruling Broad Front coalition. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Uruguay's President Jose Mujica casts his vote during general elections in Montevideo, Uruguay Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Uruguay’s presidential election is set to go into a runoff as undecided voters could opt for change on Sunday, despite an economic boom and social reforms led by the ruling Broad Front coalition. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

  • Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, center, leaves after casting his vote during general elections in Montevideo, Uruguay Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Uruguay’s presidential election is set to go into a runoff as undecided voters could opt for change on Sunday, despite an economic boom and social reforms led by the ruling Broad Front coalition. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

    Uruguay's President Jose Mujica, center, leaves after casting his vote during general elections in Montevideo, Uruguay Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014. Uruguay’s presidential election is set to go into a runoff as undecided voters could opt for change on Sunday, despite an economic boom and social reforms led by the ruling Broad Front coalition. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)  (The Associated Press)

Left-leaning candidate Tabare Vazquez is expected to clinch the most votes as Uruguayans head to the polls in the first round of a presidential election.

The 74-year-old is succeeding outgoing President Jose Mujica as the presidential candidate of the Broad Front coalition.

But polls suggest that neither Vazquez nor his main opponent, National Party candidate Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou, will get the absolute majority to avoid a runoff on Nov. 30.

Vazquez was president of Uruguay in 2005-2010.

Lacalle Pou, 41, is the son of a former president. If elected, he promises to modify the law that Mujica led to create the world's first national marketplace for legal marijuana.

Polling stations close at 2130 GMT. Exit polls will be released an hour later.