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

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.