Former President Vazquez favored as Uruguayans choose new leader

Tabare Vazquez shook up Uruguayan politics when he became president in 2005, peacefully ending 170 years of two-party dominance. Now, as Uruguayans vote on Sunday, he's the face of continuity as he seeks to extend his left-leaning coalition's decade in power.

A series of pre-election polls give Vazquez a roughly 10-point lead over his rival, Luis Lacalle Pou of the conservative National Party in the South American nation of 3.2 million people.

Tall and trim, the 74-year-old oncologist is almost the physical opposite of outgoing President Jose Mujica, who is short, paunchy and famously informal. But both support social programs that have improved life for the poor as well as continuing moderate economic policies.