Costa Rica’s Sunday presidential elections likely to head to second round – study

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SAN JOSE (Reuters) – Costa Ricans will head to the polls on Sunday for a basic elections likely to set off a second-round vote in early April, with not one of the 25 presidential candidates anticipated to win greater than the 40% of the votes wanted to keep away from a runoff, in accordance to a study.

The vast subject, together with a former president and an evangelical preacher, is vying to exchange progressive President Carlos Alvarado in an election that may change the make up of the 57-member Congress dominated by the National Liberation Party (PLN), born on the middle-left in the course of the twentieth century.

The vote comes amidst a brand new wave of the coronavirus pandemic and excessive unemployment among the many 5 million individuals within the Central American nation lengthy praised for its democratic stability in a unstable area.

None of the 25 presidential candidates – the most important quantity within the nation’s historical past – are anticipated to win greater than 17% of the vote, in accordance to a survey revealed on Tuesday by the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP) of the University of Costa Rica (UCR).

The study additionally discovered that over 31% of voters have been undecided lower than every week earlier than the elections.

The ballot exhibits PLN candidate and former President Jose Maria Figueres, who led the nation within the Nineteen Nineties, forward of the pack with 17%, adopted by former Conservative Vice President Lineth Saborío with 12.9%, and evangelical preacher Fabricio Alvarado on 10.3%.

The Eurasia Group, a consulting agency, predicted that Saborío can be a robust candidate within the second round, whereas Figueres is perhaps deprived by his get together’s alleged ties to corruption.

Five mayors from Figueres’ PLN get together have been accused of collaborating with drug trafficking teams.

‘A FEW’ DOING WELL

The elections come as Costa Rica stories document variety of COVID-19 circumstances, which is predicted to drive low voter turnout.

Unemployment and corruption are high considerations for Costa Ricans, in accordance to surveys. The unemployment of 14.4% is the very best in a decade, apart from 2020 when the financial system was crippled by pandemic-associated lockdown measures.

Voters largely blame the issues on the outgoing president and the 2 conventional events, PLN and Christian Social Unit Party (PUSC).

“A couple of individuals are doing very effectively, however the majority aren’t,” mentioned Hubert Picado, 46, who works as a fruit grower within the northeastern municipality of Pococi.

“I do not know if it is higher to vote for the outdated events or the brand new ones,” he added.

The end result of Sunday’s vote for 57 legislators of the nation’s unicameral meeting can be unsure, with all of the seats contested.

Legislation is pending to approve measures to adjust to the phrases of Costa Rica’s settlement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a deal promoted by Alvarado, whose 4-yr time period ends in May. Several presidential candidates have proposed renegotiating the deal.

The IMF settlement would supply Costa Rica with $1.8 billion over three years. Costa Rica ended 2021 with a fiscal deficit at 5.16% of GDP and an financial development of seven.6% after the contraction of 4.5% in 2020 due to the consequences of the pandemic.

(Reporting by Alvaro Murillo,; Writing by Laura Gottesdiener; Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Aurora Ellis)



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