Carlos Alvarado Quesada elected next president of Costa Rica

Carlos Alvarado Quesada, center, greets supporters after voting in a poll station in San Jose, Costa Rica on Sunday. Alvarado Quesada won the election with more than 60 percent of the vote. Photo by EPA-EFE

April 2 (UPI) — Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected to be the next president of Costa Rica on Sunday, winning more than 60 percent of the vote.

Alvarado Quesada, a former labor minister under current president Luis Guillermo Solís, beat Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz, a former television journalist and evangelical preacher who ran a campaign on conservative Christian values, including opposition to gay marriage.

The two men ran head-to-head in a runoff election Sunday after no candidate managed to win 40 percent of the vote on Feb. 4.

In that vote, Alvarado Muñoz won the most votes out of all the candidates with about 25 percent, edging out Alvarado Quesada’s 22 percent. And the strong showing appeared to be a sign that Alvarado Muñoz’s grassroots campaign might be enough to take out the incumbent party’s candidate. Social issues were a large part of the election narrative, with conservative rural voters seeming to back the preacher for his traditional stance on marriage.

But on Sunday, Alvarado Muñoz only managed to win 39.2 percent of the vote, compared to Alvarado Quesada’s 60.8 percent.

Despite the landslide victory, Alvarado Quesada indicated that the election showed the country was divided on some social issues and it “held up a mirror to our country.”

“We have to understand this in a profound way, and as the country’s first servant…I must unite this country and make it a leading republic in the 21st century,” he said, according to the Tico Times.


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