Presidential elections in Costa Rica: two visions, one country

Eleeciones Costa Rica

The ballot will be held in Costa Rica on April 1to elect the new president of the country, because on February 4, no candidate surpassed 40% of the votes required to win the electoral contest. Only 65.15% of the electoral roll participated in a total of 3.3 million Costa Ricans authorized to exercise their right to vote.

Two candidates will compete for the Costa Rican presidency, the most voted in the first round. Former deputy, journalist and Christian singer Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, of the conservative National Restoration party in the first round obtained 24.91% of the votes (505,214) and writer, political scientist and journalist Carlos Alvarado Quesada of the ruling party Acción Ciudadana had 21.66% of votes (439.388), according to Wikipedia.

Less than a month before this second round, according to the latest survey conducted by Opol Consultores for El Mundo, Fabricio Alvarado has an advantage of 12 percentage points over the government candidate, Carlos Alvarado, according to the polls.

From journalism to politics, two leaders with similarities but with diametrically opposed positions

The elections held in February 4 had the peculiarity that for the first time the traditional parties Liberación Nacional (PLN) and Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC) did not manage to go to the second round. But who are the responsible faces of this political change?

 Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz: candidate of conservative position

He is a 43-year old Evangelical Christian, journalist, television presenter and singer. He married to Laura Moscoa, with whom he has two daughters. In 2014 he was elected as deputy. In the Legislative Assembly he created the "pro-life block" to oppose in vitro fertilization and the legalization of same-sex marriage. He focused his campaign on religion and values ​​and established a position on the pronouncement, recently made by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on equal marriage. He said that if he won the presidency, he would "take Costa Rica out of the international court", which helped him gain the support of evangelical voters and conservative Catholics. He has also talked about implementing measures to reduce public expenditure, the fight against corruption, according to information published by the BBC.

Carlos Alvarado Quesada: government and social democratic candidate

He represents the Acción Ciudadana party. He is 37 years old, a young journalist, political scientist, writer of stories and novels, former Minister of Human Development and of the work portfolio of the cabinet of Luis Guillermo Solís, with four years of experience in public office. He holds a Master's Degree in Political Science granted by the University of Costa Rica and a Master's Degree in Development Studies granted at the University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom. Within his campaign promises, has called for national reconstruction, said he wanted to fight to lower the fiscal deficit, but his position in favor of same-sex marriage was decisive to get the support of the progressives in the first round , said the BBC.

Solis: The electoral contest recalls the clashes of the late nineteenth century between Catholics and liberals

Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís traveled to Panama to inaugurate the Expocomer trade fair and from there he referred to the upcoming presidential elections that will be held in his country on April 1, saying that "the electoral contest in Costa Rica, focused especially on religious conservatism, recalls the clashes of the late nineteenth century between Catholics and liberals," in an exclusive interview with EFE.

"We have a very strong institutional structure. I in this sense, I’m not worried about the outcome of the elections. Institutions in Costa Rica are always stronger than the governments that are temporarily led by the executive branch," he told EFE. The president said that he is not afraid of the future of Costa Rica, in the event that Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz wins the elections on April 1.

Solís was pleased by the achievements made during his administration, and highlighted the reduction of poverty and exclusion rates. He also said that he leaves his nation with "great" macroeconomic stability, except the fiscal issue and the debt, which have become general concerns," the current Costa Rican president told EFE, who will be in office until May 8.


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