Costa Rican Elections: Candidates Close Their Campaigns

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Source: Nodal / The Dawn News / January 28, 2018

Photo Credit: Nodal

With the Costa Rican elections one week away, candidates closed their public activities of the electoral campaign touring through communities, going to church and talking to hundreds of followers.

According to the electoral agenda, today was the last day for the candidates to carry out public activities of their campaigns, while Wednesday will be the last day for propaganda on media and to publish polls.

Carlos Alvarado, of the ruling party, was the only one that programmed a more massive activity with the “Festival I Choose the Future”, an event organized in the center of San José by the youth sector of the Citizen Action Party (PAC).

In the Festival there were concerts and other artistic activities, and the candidate was also present to give a speech and motivate the voters to choose him to protect the emblematic institutions of the country, the legacy on human rights, and to solve the fiscal problem “speak with the truth and not with demagogy”.

“In this elections we will have at stake a new focus of respect, equality and rights for everyone; a country in where everybody shall have room and that will have space for every diversity that may manifest. A Costa Rica of the future that remains as a flagship of respect and a defender of human rights”, he expressed.

Alvarado is one of the two candidates, the other being the leftist Edgardo Araya, that manifested in favour of equal marriage after a consultative opinion emitted on January 9 by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in which it urged the country to guarantee the family rights of same sex couples.

The other 11 candidates have expressed themselves against same sex marriage.

The candidates of the National Liberation Party (PLN), Antonio Álvarez, and of the National Integration Party (PIN), Juan Diego Castro, met in the outskirts of Los Angeles Basilica, house of the Virgin of Los Angeles, the Catholic Saint of Costa Rica.

Álvarez and Castro, two of the most supported in the polls, saluted and shook hands while forgetting the exchange of criticisms they have done during their campaigns.

Álvarez did a tour through several communities of the province of Cartago (East), where he made emphasis on his proposal to reactivate economy and avoid a “crisis”.

“It is important to keep in mind that this country has a serious problem, we are at the verge of a crisis”, state Álvarez.

The aspiring candidate referred to the fiscal deficit of 6.2% of the Gross Domestic Product and the debt of 49% of the GDP registered in the country in 2017, and without the advancement of the tax reform in Congress proposed by the current government of Luis Guillermos Solís.

“We must work intensively. Our proposal of creating 150.000 jobs is a response to our problems. Costa Rica needs work and if we manage to create salaries for 150.000 families (…) it would create an economic reactivation”, expressed Álvarez.

Rodolfo Piza, of the Social Christian Unity Party, closed his campaign in an event with supporters in a hotel and participated in a little rally in San Pedro, in the department of San José.

The candidate of PIN, lawyer Juan Diego Castro, followed today with his line of polemic declarations while saying that the “old parties” are offering drugs to addicts in exchange of votes.

Gone are the days when every political party would carry on massive concentrations in the center of San Jose, which evidences that the electoral effervescence has been low in this campaign.

Only a few flags or a few supporters can be seen in the streets of San José, something similar to what happened in the elections of 2014.

On February 4, 3.3 million Costa Ricans are expected to appear in the polls to choose the president and 57 elected officials for the 2018-2022 term.

The surveys indicate that a run-off might be necessary on April 1, but the 2 favorites candidates for this instance are yet to be confirmed, due to the tight margin between the 5 candidates and the undecided that reach the 30% of the total voters.

A report revealed that Antonio Álvarez (PLN) could possibly win 16% of the vote.

In a second place, Fabricio Alvarado could have around 14% of the vote.

Meanwhile, Juan Diego Castro of the National Integration Party (PIN) and Rodolfo Piza of the Social Christian Unity Party would be in the third a fourth position with a 12% each.

“Alvarado’s popularity has considerably increased in the last weeks, due to the debate that same-sex marriage has caused in the population. On the other hand Castro’s popularity has decreased due to the several disputes he has had with media”, revealed a report.

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