The presidential race in Costa Rica began with 13 candidates. Some gave up along the way; others saw their dreams frustrated after Election Day, February 4, and a couple continue forward until April 1, when the second and final round will be held.
Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz and Carlos Alvarado Quesada are those who benefited from the vote of the Costa Ricans despite the fact that none managed to reach 40 percent in the first round. The first one obtained 24.91% and the second 21.66% of the total votes.
For this coming Sunday’s second round, 3 million 322 thousand 329 voters are summoned to participate by the Supreme Court of Elections (TSJ) whose decision will result in a new president for the Central American country.
Carlos Alvarado, candidate of the government party Acción Ciudadana (PAC), is a young journalist and writer who with his slogan “I choose the future” searches to give continuity to the management of the current president, Luis Guillermo Solis.
Alvarado is presented as a new face, he does not have a great political career but in the classrooms nationally and internationally he does. If he won the elections this Sunday he would become one of the youngest presidents in the history of Costa Rica.
With his 38 years of age, he holds certifications in political science and journalism from the National University of his country and a master’s degree in Development Studies from the University of Sussex, England. In the political sphere he has held the positions of Minister of Human Development and Social Inclusion and Minister of Labor.
He defended, promoted and executed the “Bridge to Development” program, whose main objective was to reduce poverty through personalized and direct attention to families. This initiative had effects, given that poverty was reduced by two percentage points.
His government plan is based on ten-point plan, within which education, sustainability, security and social development are the fundamental components. The proposals bear the names of: a country that changes from within the classrooms, that is making progress, inclusive, supportive and diverse, sustainable cities, accessible housing, and modern transportation; a State that shows results, a safer, prosperous, modern and innovative country.
The candidate is in favor of gay marriage and has promised to respect the advisory opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), favorable to gay marriage and the family rights of the LGBTI population, a diametrically opposed posture to that of his contender.
Carlos Alvarado is a native of the capital, San José and grew up in the town of Pavas. He is married to Claudia Dobles, an architect by profession, with whom he has a four-year-old son called Gabriel.
His interest in politics came from an early age, a passion he has managed to combine with his taste for music and theater. He was in charge of the press of the legislative branch of the PAC, chief of Alberto Salom’s deputy’s office and communication director of Luis Guillermo Solís.
Fabricio Alvarado, also a candidate for the presidency, has raised the banners of his campaign in favor of values, principles and the family, according to his conception of life. For specialists, it’s a surprise that his name seems like one of the two final options to win the presidential chair.
He does not have a vast political experience but is experienced in ease of dialogue, contact with the people and ease in public appearances. Much of this is due to his experience in the local media where he practiced journalism and disseminated his messages of a religious nature.
Fabricio Alvarado is the candidate of the National Restoration Party (PRN) and his government plan was presented in two parts, the last of these this Ash Wednesday. In the document, the presidential candidate offers to fight against corruption with a heavy hand, reduce government spending, promote the development of infrastructure and a “significant educational reform” to strengthen the training of teachers and give “entrepreneurship tools” to the students.
His government proposal, made known through his official website, has raised all kinds of criticisms and complaints. His detractors have accused him of plagiarism, copying and making statements with open restrictions on individual liberties.
With his messages “With clean hands” and “Let’s do it together”, he was catapulted thanks to the decision made by the IACHR, which calls on the countries of the region to legalize gay marriage.
His reaction, as a member of the World Worship Church, was one of sharp rejection, a fact that made him ascend quickly in the polls until consolidating one of the two seats in the second round.
Alvarado is a native of San José, is 43 years old, is married to Laura Moscoa and has two daughters. He does not have educational credentials, since he studied Communication Sciences at the University of Costa Rica but did not graduate.
He arrived to the political world in 2014, a period in which he entered his name as a candidate for deputy and succeeded. Of the candidates to the parliament, Alvarado is the only one in conquering the seat on behalf of the PRN. When being a deputy, he creates together with other parliamentarians the “Prolife Block”, containment group of in vitro fertilization.
As a legislator, he promoted or accompanied more than 130 bills, of which 29 bear only his name; the rest have been introduced along with other legislators. The best known regulations are the law for religious freedom and worship, the Law of Improper Relationships and the Creation of the Warning System and the procedure for the coordination and immediate response between public and private institutions before the disappearance of minors.
He is a man known by the people, tours as a singer, his participation at the head of the main media and his recordings, have given him a platform with national scope in fact, it is estimated that 20 percent of the Costa Rican population profess the evangelical religion.