Who is Rodrigo Chavez, the winner of the Costa Rican elections, and why is it causing controversy?

Saint Joseph. The Right winger Rodrigo Chavez May 8 will become the next president of Costa Rica After winning Sunday’s poll by more than five points, he will have to deal with a severe economic crisis.

Chaves, a 60-year-old economist, was questioned after a sentence for sexual harassment When he worked for the World Bank, he got 52.88% of the vote against 47.12% for the middle center Jose Maria Figueres With 95.24% of the votes counted, the Elections Supreme Court reported.

The former Costa Rican president said: “Costa Rica voted, people spoke. As democrats, we will always respect this decision (…) I congratulate Rodrigo Chavez and wish him all the best.” A crowd of supporters in Saint Joseph.

Read also: Right-winger Rodrigo Chavez wins Costa Rica’s presidential election

outgoing ruler Charles Alvarado, also congratulated Chavez, who won his new party, the Social Democratic Progress Party. Without a majority in Congress, he would have to negotiate his government’s plan.

In this country with no armed forces since 1948, the transportation and distribution of electoral materials was the responsibility of citizen volunteers accredited to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

more than 42% of 3.5 million Of the residents invited to vote and did not go to the polls.

A spokesman for the Central Electoral Court told reporters that the elections took place “in peace and tranquility.” Gustavo Romanalthough a citizen over 70 lost his balance during the day after voting in the capital and died at his polling place, apparently of a heart attack.

Chaves voted mid-morning at a school in Goicoechea, downtown, to cheers from supporters and criticism from the occasional detractor.

“I promise you a government that is just, honest and transparent, which will be the best administration ever,” Chavez said.

Worker Angela Marin, 58, is the first to vote at Liceo in San Antonio de Coronado, in San Jose.

“The next president has to change everything, because that’s too bad. There’s no business here, there’s nothing,” said Anna Briceno, 64, a travel agent.

Through his work, Briceño knows firsthand the impact of pandemic In tourism, the main economic driver of this country is leading in the protection of the environment and with the abundance of natural attractions.

Poverty affects 23% of the country’s population, which suffered the largest drop in employment in the region between 2019 and 2020 (-14%), along with Peru, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Its debt is equal to 70% of its GDP.

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Despite the setbacks, Costa Rica tops the rankings Latin america One of the “happiest” countries in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report.

“Costa Rican society has not been poor, they have impoverished it, Costa Rican society has not been unequal, they have made it unequal. We have talked about progress and rejecting setbacks,” Chaves, of the New Social Democratic Progress Party, said Sunday. at a press conference.

60 years old, an economist who has worked for more than 30 years in world bank. He also served as Finance Minister in the current Carlos Alvarado government for 180 days between 2019 and 2020.

“The country has never been in an emergency like the one we’re going through (…). But I’m convinced we can get out of it. We have options to generate jobs, which we desperately need,” Figueres said. From the traditional National Liberation Party (PLN).

A 67-year-old industrial engineer, he was president between 1994 and 1998 and is the son of historic president José Figueres Ferrer, who abolished the military in 1948.

suspicion of corruption

Chavez received a penalty for sexual harassment To two of his subordinates from the World Bank and Figueres were involved in an investigation into suspected corruption of the $900,000 consultancy of France’s Alcatel, a company that has admitted paying bribes in exchange for contracts.

The future Costa Rican president asserts that the accusations against him, in relation to the events that occurred between 2008 and 2013, were “jokes” that were “misunderstood due to cultural differences”.

Meanwhile, Figueres, against whom an official case has never been opened, admits he was wrong not to return to the country upon request. It was investigated in 2004, when he was working in Switzerland.

Both reached the second round after the first round on February 6 between 25 filterswhere Figueres had an advantage, although not enough to win automatically.

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