Baldomir, Alfredo (1894–1948)

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Baldomir, Alfredo (1894–1948)

Alfredo Baldomir (b. 1894; d. 1948), president of Uruguay (1938–1943). Baldomir was the brother-in-law of President Gabriel Terra, who chose him as his potential successor. Baldomir had been chief of police in Montevideo at the time of Terra's 1933 coup.

The 1938 election was a family affair for the Colorado-backed president. Terra had the party offer two candidates: his brother-in-law, Baldomir, who received 121,000 votes, and his father-in-law, Eduardo Blanco Acevedo, who received 98,000. The Colorado Party, with a total of 219,000 votes, thus defeated the Herrerist Blancos (National Party), which offered only one candidate, who had 114,000 votes.

With an economic upturn and a resurgence of the Batllist tradition, Baldomir felt that Terra's alliance with the Blancos, led by Luis Alberto de Herrera, as defined in the 1934 Constitution, had outlived its usefulness. The Blancos were opposed to much of Baldomir's domestic program and were critical of his cooperation with the United States at the start of World War II. Their guaranteed control of half of the seats in the Senate left them with a strong veto power. Consequently, on 21 February 1942 Baldomir postponed the upcoming March elections, dissolved Congress, and called for a constitutional plebiscite to restore the normal functioning of the electoral system. He created a Council of State, to which he submitted his constitutional proposal on 29 May. The new constitution did away with the division of the Senate between the 1933 coup leaders (Terra and Herrera) and restored full constitutional democracy. Baldomir is quoted as having said, "We have the costliest electoral system on the continent, but it is cheaper than revolution."

See alsoUruguay, Political Parties: Colorado Party .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Philip B. Taylor, Jr., Government and Politics of Uruguay (1960).

Additional Bibliography

Frega, Ana, Mónica Maronna, and Ivette Trochon. Baldomir y la restauración democrática, 1938–1946. Montevideo: Ediciones de la Banda Oriental, 1987.

                                    Martin Weinstein

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Baldomir, Alfredo (1894–1948)

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