Rodrigo Chavez is the president-elect of Costa Rica after winning the second round

The level of abstention in Costa Rica remained at historical levels, recording 42.23%.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Social Democratic Progress Party (PSD) candidate and economist Rodrigo Chaves, 60, became the elected president of Costa Rica on Sunday, garnering a total of 52% of the vote, above 47.15%. His rival, Jose Maria Figueres, obtained it from the National Liberation Party.

According to the last cut Costa Rica Electoral Court Held at night, with a total of 98.15% of councils counted, Chaves Figueres, 67, tapped by more than 100,000 votes.

The level of abstention from voting remained at historical levels, recording 42.23%, according to the electoral college, which recorded the participation level of 56.77%.

Figueres and Chavez competed, Sunday, in a second round, after neither of them received 40% of the vote on the first day of February, in which a total of 25 candidates participated.

“I congratulate Rodrigo Chavez and wish him all the best,” Figueres said, acknowledging the victory of his rival, who received strong accusations of having received a sentence for sexual harassment when he worked at the World Bank.

For his part, Chavez gave a conciliatory speech at a hotel in San Jose where he said he “received with the deepest humility the sacred decision of the Costa Rican people.”

“For me this result is not a celebration, it is not a medal or a trophy, but a huge responsibility, full of challenges and difficulties that we will all face,” he stressed in front of his supporters.

Hours earlier, Chavez questioned the press for criticizing him during a visit to the College of Journalists in Costa Rica and asserted that he was the victim of alleged attacks by some media outlets. Similarly, the Social Democratic Progress Party’s elected MP, Pilar Cisneros, described the journalists’ remarks as a “dirty and dirty campaign”.

Journalists Pilar Cisneros and Rodrigo Chaves, Photo Houston Castillo, VOA.

Former President Alvarado congratulates Chavez

After learning of the results, outgoing President Carlos Alvarado expressed his congratulations to Chavez and expressed his readiness for an “orderly transition”.

“I have called the President-elect, Rodrigo Chavez, to extend my congratulations, make an orderly transition and express my best wishes for the duties he will face as the 49th President of Costa Rica. Congratulating Costa Rica on a new democratic day,” Alvarado wrote on Twitter.

The Secretary-General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, also added congratulations on Chavez’s victory and wrote on the same social network that the electoral process in Costa Rica was exemplary for the region.

“We renew our commitment to work side by side with Costa Rica for more rights for more people,” Almagro tweeted.

Former President Jose Maria Figueres of the National Liberation Party on Sunday.

Former President Jose Maria Figueres of the National Liberation Party on Sunday.

Chavez promises to reconcile Costa Rica

The elections in Costa Rica were held without any quarrel, according to a spokesman for the Electoral Court, Gustavo Roman, but the level of abstention showed the discontent of the citizens with the remaining candidates, who, far from uniting the electorate, polarized the population. , analysts told The Voice of America.

he told The Voice of America Andrés González, a young man of barely 20 years old exercised his right to vote for the first time.

The election in the second round was marked by allegations of corruption, as was the case with former president and candidate Jose Figueres. and sexual harassment against Chavez.

“It has been a complex and difficult campaign, because sometimes prospects are lost, so you should focus on what we are going to do in the future, not live in the crosshairs of the past,” said young Cindy Tregos.

Costa Rica is experiencing an economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank revealed that Costa Rica’s gross domestic product contracted by 4.1% in 2020, the largest decline in four decades.

The same agency estimates that in 2020, more than 124,000 people fell into the cycle of poverty, bringing the poverty rate to 13% in 2020.

Chavez, an economist by profession, said he would work to pull the country out of the crisis and create jobs, but he also called for the unification of Costa Rica.

“Costa Rican society was not poor, they impoverished it, Costa Rican society was not unequal, they made it unequal. We talked about progress and rejected setbacks,” Chavez said.

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