Rodrigo Chaves won the Costa Rican presidency with 52.9% of the vote

Rodrigo Chaves, candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Progress (PPSD), is an emerging politician and was the surprise of Election Day in Costa Rica. (REUTERS / Monica Quesada)
Rodrigo Chaves, candidate of the Social Democratic Party of Progress (PPSD), is an emerging politician and was the surprise of Election Day in Costa Rica. (REUTERS / Monica Quesada)

The Supreme Electoral Court released the first cut of the count: with over 95% of the votes counted, Rodrigo Chaves (Social Democratic Progress Party) got 52.9% and José María Figueres (National Liberation Party) 47.10 %.

“People have spoken and we will always be respectful of that decision,” Figueres said after accepting defeat. “I congratulate Rodrigo Chaves and wish him the best,” he added.

Rodrigo Chaves thus becomes the 49th president in the history of Costa Rica and will take power on May 8 for a period of 4 years, replacing Carlos Alvarado, from the center-left Citizen Action Party. TSE figures add that the turnout stood at 42.8%.

“This is not the time to celebrate, but rather it is a huge challenge,” Chaves said in his victory speech after hearing the election results.

“I send my appreciation to Mr. José María Figueres and to all the people who voted for him”, asking him to collaborate to make possible the projects that his co-tendent has called the “Costa Rican miracle”. that was his campaign project.

“Tonight we keep the party flags that can divide us”asked the president-elect in front of his followers.

“The abstention we are experiencing today has become the largest political party in Costa Rica”Chaves complained in his speech after it was learned that more than 42% of Costa Ricans called to vote did not participate in the elections.

Chaves, an economist by profession, has proposed reducing the size of the state, reducing social burdens and barriers to investment and entrepreneurship, but his message has focused on the promise of a frontal fight against corruption that he blames traditional parties such as the Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN), to which its rival belongs.

“It all starts with accelerating our economy to create jobs, attract investments, consolidate new companies and strengthen our exports. You have our promise: we will end, once and for all, with bureaucracy, obstacles and excessive state intervention and abusive spending. We will let them work, without hindering! ” Chaves promised in his government plan.

The economist has promised in the campaign to work to make Costa Rica the “happiest country in the world”, to fight corruption and to govern for the poorest sectors.

The latest campaign efforts have aimed to win over 1.5 million Costa Ricans who have no one to vote for.  (REUTERS / Monica Quesada)
The latest campaign efforts have aimed to win over 1.5 million Costa Ricans who have no one to vote for. (REUTERS / Monica Quesada)

Rodrigo Chavez

The 60-year-old president-elect of the emerging Social Democratic Progress Party (SDPP) has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Ohio in the United States and received a scholarship from Harvard University to study the problems of poverty in Asia. He was Costa Rica’s finance minister during Carlos Alvarado’s current government for a period of six months, after which Alvarado asked him to step down in May 2020 due to “irreconcilable differences”.

He worked for the World Bank for nearly 30 years, eventually becoming director of the World Bank office in Indonesia.

Two World Bank employees sued Chaves for “sexual propositions” and an “unwanted inappropriate behavior pattern” that the candidate has assured are “gossip and lies”. He also denied that this was the reason for his resignation from the world body.

As published The Wall Street newspaper In October 2021 an investigation by a World Bank administrative court records testimony describing Chaves as a “known stalker” and that there is “a documented pattern of harassment that lasted at least four years and involved six women”. Although this problem has become the main attack of his rivals and civil organizations, it has not affected the majority of Costa Ricans who voted him president.

Chavez’s campaign slogan was #MeComoLaBroncaa phrase Costa Ricans use like “I deal with problems. “In development …

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