Polling stations, which opened at 6 a.m. local time, closed at 6 p.m. The first official results should be known about two hours later.
Some 3.5 million voters were called to the polls to find a successor to Carlos Alvarado, who cannot stand for a second consecutive four-year term under the terms of the constitution. They also had to elect the 57 deputies of the National Assembly.
” We are among the strongest democracies in the world […] We have had elections continuously since 1953. »
Election day passed
in a normal waywith
high voter turnoutassured Eugenia Zamora, president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE).
is a country with a robust democracy […] It shows elements that can serve as an example to other countriesgreeted Isabel de Saint Malo, who leads the election observation mission of the Organization of American States (OAS).
If none of the presidential candidates obtains 40% of the vote, a second round will be organized on April 3. A very likely scenario, since only seven of the contenders obtain more than 2% of the voting intentions, according to the polls.
The two traditional center-right and center-left parties, which have long dominated Costa Rican political life, are favourites.
Their revenge should be dazzling on the Citizen Action Party (PAC, center left) of outgoing President Alvarado, who jostled them in the 2000s, winning the presidency in 2014 and retaining it in 2018: his candidate won only 0, 3% of voting intentions.
Several candidates are fighting
José Maria Figueres, 67, the candidate of the National Liberation Party (PLN, center left), founded in 1953 and which has had nine elected presidents, has already been president from 1994 to 1998. He leads the polls with around 17% of voting intentions.
Out of a population of about five million,million and a half people living below the poverty line, and half a million in extreme poverty”,”text”:”there are one and a half million people living below the poverty line, and half a million in extreme poverty”}}”>there are one and a half million people living below the poverty line, and half a million in extreme povertyhe underlined after the vote.
The candidate ofPLN is closely followed by Lineth Saborio (approximately 13% of voting intentions), a 61-year-old former vice-president (2002-2006), candidate of the Social-Christian Unity Party (PUSC, center right), created in 1983 and who won three presidential elections.
We are confident in the results. We will continue to progressshe said after slipping her ballot into the ballot box.
The conservative evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, beaten on the wire by Mr. Carlos Alvarado four years ago, is in ambush, with around 10% of the voting intentions.
However, the ex-Minister of the Economy, Rodrigo Chaves, a defector from the government due to disagreements, is given a rise in the home stretch and disputes him for third place.
On the eve of the election, 31.8% of voters were still undecided, according to a latest poll, and a surprise therefore remains possible.
A first reading is that the electorate gives a premium to the experience available to both parties traditional ones, observes the analyst Alejandro Molina, of the National Policy Observatory (OPNA). [lecture]is that there is a disappointment after two mandates of the CAP“,”text”:”The other [lecture]is that there is a disappointment after two terms of the PAC”}}”>The other [lecture]is that there is a disappointment after two mandates of the . CAP
Economic crisis and corruption
The small country, with the flattering reputation of
Switzerland of Central Americais indeed facing an economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as corruption scandals of an unprecedented scale.
Unemployment has been rising for more than a decade, reaching 14.4% in 2021, a very slight decline compared to 2020, at the height of the pandemic.
Last year, 23% of Costa Ricans lived below the poverty line, while debt reached 70% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Ministers, former ministers and mayors were also splashed last year by two corruption cases concerning embezzlement and bribes for public works contracts worth several million dollars.
These scandals undermined the credibility and reputation of politicians, and the ruling team achieved a record 72% unpopularity score.