Catching up? Highlights from yesterday’s surprising Costa Rican election

April 2, 2018

If you’re catching up on your Costa Rican news this Monday morning, here’s a look at some of our favorite photos and videos from yesterday’s coverage of the election of the country’s 48th president.

Of course, the news of the day was that, in defiance of most polls that showed a neck-and-neck contest or a lead for the National Restoration Party’s Fabricio Alvarado, Carlos Alvarado, of the Citizen Action Party (PAC), swept to victory in an unexpected landslide.

Because only two candidates were on the ballot yesterday, as opposed to the multi-party ballot plus legislative elections on Feb. 4, local voting authorities and Supreme Elections Tribunal (TSE) officials were able to tally the vote in record time. When the first set of results was added up at 8:05 pm, 90.6 percent of votes had already been recorded: Carlos Alvarado has won the presidency of Costa Rica with 60.7 percent, over 39.3 percent for his opponent. Here was the reaction in San Pedro, east of San José:

Shortly after this decisive announcement, Fabricio Alvarado spoke to supporters on gathered Paseo Colón, in western San José. He called for national unity and pledged to support the new government.

Carlos Alvarado then delivered a rousing victory speech at the Plaza Roosevelt in San Pedro:

Despite an Easter Sunday voting date that many had feared would reduce voter turnout, Costa Rica had an unusually low voter abstention for a presidential runoff (32.97 as of 9 pm last night, compared to 39.8 percent in 2002 and 43.5 in 2014, according to the daily La Nación).

Enthusiastic crowds followed the candidates throughout the day, as did our reporting teams. Check out our 360 video of the voting station in San José where Carlos Alvarado cast his midday vote. And don’t miss our photos from Election Day.

Stay tuned for more in the coming days about the new administration, which now has just one month to prepare for office; the historic achievement of Vice President-elect Epsy Campbell, the first female Afro-Costa Rican ever to hold the position; analysis of what shifts or trends caused this unexpectedly lopsided result; and much more. And read on to get to know Costa Rica’s 48th president-elect.

 

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