A blunt-talking former guerrilla seeking to maintain the left's hold on power in Uruguay easily got the most votes in presidential elections, but failed to win the majority needed to avoid a runoff.
Jose "Pepe" Mujica got about 48% of the votes compared to 30% for former president Luis Alberto Lacalle, a free-marketeer who wants to cut government and taxes and reduce alliances with Latin American leftists.
Two voter initiatives - one to remove amnesty for human rights abuses under the 1973-85 dictatorship and another to enable mail-in votes by citizens living outside Uruguay - also failed to win majorities, according to exit polls by the companies Cifra, Factum and Equipos Mori.
The Electoral Court was expected to release most official results today.
Mr Mujica and his vice-presidential candidate, Danilo Astori, conceded that a runoff would be necessary but expressed optimism.
They noted that even if Mr Lacalle picks up all the votes of right-wing third-place finisher Pedro Bordaberry, the margin would still give the ruling Broad Front the edge in the second round of voting on November 29.
"We're going to fight for the whole nation," Mr Mujica said, "so that the economy works, and also provides for the people who have the least".
Talking later, Mr Lacalle predicted that he and his vice-presidential candidate Jorge Washington Larranaga "will manage the Executive Branch. It's not vanity - it's that we believe that we are the better option for the security, the certainty, the peace and the dialogue that the country needs".