What’s new in Costa Rica politics? Carlos Alvarado Quesada is president-elect after winning the presidential runoff April 1 in a stunning landslide. Costa Rica’s new president is passionate about literature – with three published novels – and a musician who likes rock.
Alvarado, 38, a former Cabinet minister who has studied journalism and political science, carried out a hard-fought campaign against Fabricio Alvarado (no relation), a former legislator and evangelical preacher.
Carlos Alvarado became a public figure in Costa Rica because of his political activity within the Citizen Action Party (PAC, center left). Known for his slow speaking style and deep voice, Alvarado has sought to present a message of national unity since he came in second in the Feb. 4 first round.
Wakeup Call – Costa Rica Election
Super Bowl Sunday, February 4, 2018, was the Presidential election in Costa Rica. For the weeks leading up to the election, there was all the hoopla you would expect. Posters everywhere; TV ads; National Debates. Yet it was very civil and peaceful. None of the candidates spent time bashing the others; digging up dirt; nor talking trash. It was all about what each one of them planned to do to help this amazing country. I found myself talking with many of my Costa Rican friends this week, getting their take on the whole process. I found it incredible how many people were informed of the issues, and had a real interest in using their vote to make a difference.
Costa Rica voting is compulsory, meaning there are laws which require eligible citizens to register for and participate in democratic elections of representatives to form governance of their homeland, province or local government. In other words; it is a law that you MUST vote. There is One President and Two Vice Presidents and they serve a Four Year Term. They are constitutionally banned from serving a second consecutive term. There are two main parties, and a bunch of smaller parties, and the winner MUST secure 40% of the overall votes to be elected. If this does not happen, then there is a second runoff election April 1 for the top two leading contenders. There are 3.3 Million eligible voters in Costa Rica and they are predominantly Roman Catholic and often describe themselves as Conservative. When the election is over, everyone accepts the results and life goes on. It is their President and they support him or her. They are all ONE COUNTRY. If they are unhappy with the results, they keep it to themselves and try their best to vote in another party, 48 months down the line. PURA VIDA.