Ex-finance minister wins runoff vote to be Costa Rica’s president

A former finance minister who stunned many by making it into Costa Rica’s presidential runoff vote is to turn out to be the nation’s new chief subsequent month, whereas nonetheless warding off accusations of sexual harassment when he labored on the World Financial institution.

With almost all polling stations reporting, conservative economist Rodrigo Chaves had 53% of the vote, in contrast with 47% for former president Jose Figueres Ferrer, the supreme electoral tribunal mentioned.

Greater than 42% of eligible voters didn’t participate in Sunday’s election, nevertheless, reflecting the shortage of enthusiasm Costa Ricans had for the candidates.

In his victory speech, Mr Chaves mentioned he acquired the outcome with humility and referred to as for unity to deal with issues like unemployment and a hovering funds deficit.

Costa Rica rlections
Rodrigo Chaves greets supporters at a polling station (Carlos Gonzalez/AP)

“Costa Rica, the best is to come,” Mr Chaves mentioned to celebrating supporters. His inauguration is scheduled for Could 8.

Mr Figueres conceded defeat lower than an hour after outcomes started to come back in. He had led the primary spherical of voting on February 6, with Mr Chaves in second that day. Neither had come near the 40% of the vote wanted to keep away from a runoff.

“Costa Rica has voted and the people have spoken,” Mr Figueres mentioned. “As the democrats we are we will always be respectful of that decision.”

Costa Rica elections
Rodrigo Chaves pumps his fist after casting his poll (Carlos Gonzalez/AP)

Mr Chaves served briefly within the administration of outgoing president Carlos Alvarado and represents the Social Democratic Progress Get together.

Each males waged a bruising marketing campaign that highlighted previous controversies.

Mr Chaves’ marketing campaign is beneath investigation by electoral authorities for allegedly operating an unlawful parallel financing construction. He additionally has been dogged by a sexual harassment scandal that drove him out of the World Financial institution.

Whereas working on the World Financial institution he was accused of sexual harassment by a number of ladies, was ultimately demoted after which resigned. He has denied the accusations.

Greater than 3.5 million Costa Ricans have been eligible to vote, however with many citizens underwhelmed by the choices, turnout was even decrease than the 60% in February.

Whereas Costa Rica has loved relative democratic stability in contrast with different nations within the area, folks have grown pissed off with public corruption scandals and excessive unemployment.

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