“Faced with (those who want) communist experiments, we represent the safest path for this democracy,” said Costa Rican presidential candidate Johnny Araya, of the ruling National Liberation Party, after casting his vote at a San José school Sunday morning.
“Members of the Liberation party and Costa Ricans who haven’t previously been members of our party but relate to us are the ones who represent the safest and most responsible choice,” Araya, 56, said. The former San José mayor was flanked by journalists and supporters as he voted in the Carlos Sanabria School in Pavas, a western district of San José.
“We’re certain we’re going to win. We have more than the 40 percent needed, and Costa Ricans are going to find that out,” Araya said.
“Costa Rica doesn’t need communist experiments, it’s not a country for extremists, which is what the Broad Front Party represents. We’re going to intensely work to move this country forward,” Araya said.
But Broad Front Party candidate José María Villalta and Citizen Action Party candidate Luis Guillermo Solís – two progressive candidates capitalizing on the discontent among voters of the ruling administration of President Laura Chinchilla – could prove tough rivals throughout the day, while Libertarian Movement Party candidate Otto Guevara also had strong showing in recent polls.
Araya’s campaign said it hoped to capture one million of the three million votes expected to be cast today in order to avoid a runoff election in April.