May 29, 2022
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Economist wins Costa Rica election for president

Economist wins Costa Rica election for president

SAN JOSE — Economist Rodrigo Chaves prolonged a hand to the opposition upon successful the Costa Rican presidency on Sunday after a bruising election marketing campaign during which the previous World Financial institution official vowed to interrupt with conventional politics.

Defeating former president Jose Maria Figueres by about 53% to 47% in a run-off vote, based on preliminary outcomes, the bearded 60-year-old Mr. Chaves rapidly dropped his confrontational marketing campaign rhetoric and stated it was time to work collectively.

“Tonight, let’s set aside the party colors that can easily divide us,” Mr. Chaves, instructed dozens of cheering supporters within the capital, San Jose, on Sunday evening. “I humbly ask you that we unite beneath the blue, white and red of our national flag.”

Mr. Chaves will take workplace subsequent month together with his Social Democratic Progress Social gathering (PPSD) holding simply 10 of the nationwide parliament’s 57 seats, whereas the social gathering of Figueres, who got here first in an indecisive first spherical vote in February, has 19.

At 57%, turnout was the bottom in a long time, reflecting apathy amongst many citizens in Costa Rica, the place straitened financial instances have fueled disenchantment with the political class.

Mr. Chaves, whose marketing campaign was buffeted by allegations of sexual harassment stemming from his time on the World Financial institution, had vowed to make use of referenda to work round parliament, and in addition pledged to assist the poor by maintaining down the value of fundamental items.

He has repeatedly denied the harassment allegations. However his insurance policies, combative type and confrontational strategy to the media drew comparisons to different anti-establishment leaders within the Americas, together with former US president Donald Trump.

A number of dozen Mr. Chaves’ supporters gathered for a modest however energetic watch social gathering at a downtown resort. Dancing started earlier than the outcomes and the festivities continued after his speech.

Caravans of revelers celebrating Mr. Chaves’ victory honked their automobile horns as they handed the resort the place Mr. Figueres’ supporters had gathered. Inside, the temper was somber and social gathering flags have been lowered instantly after Mr. Figueres conceded.

ECONOMIC CHALLENGE
Ultimately, a perception that Mr. Chaves may ship a recent begin for Costa Ricans proved decisive in seeing off the problem of Mr. Figueres, who was president from 1994-1998 and is a scion of one of the crucial highly effective political households within the nation.

Adrian Salazar, 57, and his household have been among the many Chaves supporters celebrating within the streets of central San Jose.

“I voted thinking we weren’t going to win, but confident that we need new faces to save the country,” stated Mr. Salazar, attributing the triumph to a “hunger for real change.”

Nonetheless, in his victory deal with, Mr. Chaves namechecked Mr. Figueres’ father, three-time president Jose Figueres Ferrer, as he sought to win over opponents to assist him govern.

Mr. Chaves spent virtually three a long time on the World Financial institution, and isn’t an entire newcomer to politics. He briefly served as finance minister beneath outgoing president Carlos Alvarado, who’s barred by regulation from in search of speedy re-election.

Mr. Chaves sought to underline his financial credentials in his marketing campaign pitch to Costa Ricans, who over the previous twenty years have seen unemployment steadily creep up, inequality rise and the nation slip deeper into debt in the course of the coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In Jan. 2021, the nation agreed to $1.78 billion in monetary help from the Worldwide Financial Fund.

In trade, the federal government vowed to undertake a raft of fiscal adjustments and austerity measures to stabilize funds. However the fragmented parliament has up to now made little headway on them. — Reuters

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