THE opposition Colorado Party took the lead in Uruguay's presidential race early Monday, and its chief candidate, former President Julio Sanguinetti, claimed victory.
The Interior Ministry, with 85 percent returns, reported the Colorado Party had 586,392 of Sunday's votes, to the ruling Blanco Party's 566,622 and the leftist Progressive Encounter's 554,206. Economic issues dominated the campaign.
Analysts predicted the voting would be the closest in Uruguay's recent history and most important since civilian rule was restored in 1984.
Peru candidate pledges aid
PERUVIAN presidential candidate Javier Perez de Cuellar said he had won pledges from French and Spanish businessmen to invest $10 billion in Peru if his party wins next year's presidential elections.
``The only condition that the investors demand is the democratic and economic stabilization of the country,'' the former United Nations secretary-general told supporters late Saturday.
Analysts say the creation of jobs will be a central issue in Peru's April 9 presidential elections.