By JAVIER CÓRDOBA, Related Press
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Costa Ricans voted for a brand new president Sunday in elections which have but to see a transparent favourite emerge among the many 25 candidates and will probably be held amid fears of a low turnout due to a surge in COVID-19 circumstances.
Costa Ricans may also select a brand new Nationwide Meeting within the elections, which happen days after the nation’s prime prosecutor filed papers looking for to raise outgoing President Carlos Alvarado’s immunity so he can face fees associated to the gathering of non-public info on residents. He’s not eligible to run once more.
A big proportion of the citizens remained undecided within the remaining days earlier than the vote within the Central American nation.
If no candidate captures a minimum of 40% of the vote, a runoff vote will probably be held April 3 between the highest two candidates. No single candidate was even near that threshold in latest polls.
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Costa Ricans are annoyed by excessive unemployment, latest public corruption scandals and one other surge of COVID-19 infections, however haven’t swarmed to a candidate.
Voting facilities have been busy Sunday morning as some Costa Ricans tried to beat the standard late day crowds.
Every individual needed to wash their palms, put on a masks and keep distance contained in the polling locations,
“I hoped for fewer individuals within the morning, since you need to keep away from the strains, however from what I’ve seen lots of people thought the identical and got here to vote early,” stated 68-year-old retiree Carlos Rodríguez within the capital.
He did not share his selection for president, however stated he anticipated voting to go to a second spherical. He stated he hoped there could be some surprises amongst candidates who hadn’t polled notably effectively.
“We’ll have to come back to vote once more in April, I am positive of that,” he stated. “The factor is who will get to that spherical.”
The Supreme Elections Tribunal reported good turnout throughout the nation.
Fabricio Alvarado, who misplaced to Carlos Alvarado in a second spherical of voting 4 years in the past, is operating this time for his New Republic get together.
José María Figueres is the candidate for the Nationwide Liberation Celebration based by his father José Figueres Ferrer, who himself served because the nation’s president on three events within the Nineteen Forties, 50s and 70s.
The youthful Figueres was Costa Rica’s president from 1994 to 1998, however has been questioned over a $900,000 consulting price he acquired after his presidency from the telecommunication firm Alcatel whereas it competed for a contract with the nationwide electrical energy firm. He was by no means charged with any crime and denied any wrongdoing.
Additionally among the many contenders is one other skilled politician, Lineth Saborío for Christian Social Unity. Saborío served as Costa Rica’s vp in the course of the administration of Abel Pacheco from 2002 to 2006.
Beforehand, Saborío led Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Division, which oversees prison investigations.
Along with voter apathy, turnout stays unsure as a result of new COVID-19 infections are operating round 6,000 a day. An election official had inspired these contaminated to abstain from voting, however others have acknowledged there’s no technique to hold individuals from exercising their constitutional proper.
Polls are scheduled to shut at 6 p.m. Sunday. Costa Ricans dwelling overseas forged ballots Saturday within the nation’s consulates.
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