Gonzalo Aguirre is a politician from the National Party (Uruguay). He studied law in his youth and became a well-known lawyer specialised in constitutional law. He became politically active during the military regime in Uruguay, 1973-1985. In the 1984 elections, which put an end to de facto rule, he was selected as vice-presidential running mate of Alberto Zumaran, the candidate of the majority faction of his party, Por la Patria. The leader of the Por la Patria faction, Wilson Ferreira Aldunate, was imprisoned and prohibited from running for president. Aguirre was at the time member of the Movimiento Nacional de Rocha faction. In this way, the alliance between these two factions was repeated, as it had already taken place in the 1971 elections. Although Zumaran-Aguirre emerged victorious within the National Party, the Blancos lost the election to the Colorado Party and its main candidate, Julio María Sanguinetti. Aguirre nevertheless was elected Senator for his faction.
In 1987, Aguirre split from the Movimiento Nacional de Rocha and founded his own sector, Renovación y Victoria. In 1988, the Herrerismo faction led by Luis Alberto Lacalle entered an alliance with Renovación y Victoria, and Aguirre became the running mate of Lacalle.
In the November 1989 elections, Lacalle-Aguirre won within the National Party and defeated the Colorado Party and other parties.
After taking office as Vice President of Uruguay in March 1990, Aguirre supported with a varying degree of enthusiasm the free-market policies espoused by the Lacalle administration. In March 1993, Renovación y Victoria abandoned the coalition government of Lacalle, although Aguirre remained as vice-president (the vice president in Uruguay is elected by the people for a fixed five-year term). In March 1994, Aguirre was chosen by his faction to be a presidential candidate in the November 1994 elections, but in early October of that year he renounced his candidacy after Julio María Sanguinetti, former President and candidate of the Foro Batllista faction of the Colorado Party, alleged that his candidacy was incompatible (in Uruguay, the vice-president may not occupy the presidency, even interimly, three months before the general elections, and Aguirre had replaced Lacalle in August when the President had gone on a visit abroad). Aguirre therefore supported the candidacy of his cousin, Juan Andrés Ramírez, candidate of the Herrerismo faction. The National Party narrowly lost the elections to the Colorado Party.
Aguirre was the tenth person to hold the office of Vice President of Uruguay. The office dates from 1934, when César Charlone became Uruguay's first Vice President.
Aguirre failed to get elected to any office both in the 1994 and in the 1999 elections. In 1999, he supported Juan Andrés Ramírez in the primary elections of April 1999, although Ramírez lost to Luis Alberto Lacalle. In the October 1999 elections, he was a candidate for the Senate for Alianza Nacional, but failed to be elected.
In recent years, Aguirre has abandoned active politics, his faction, Renovación y Victoria, effectively disappearing after 1999. In the 2004 primary elections, he supported Jorge Larrañaga, who became the Party's nominee for the presidential elections of October 2004, but who lost to Tabaré Vázquez and the Frente Amplio.
Aguirre still works as a lawyer and for many years has been a distinguished columnist of Uruguay's main daily newspaper, El País (Uruguay).
Lately he has re-joined Lacalle.