On Sunday April 3rd, Costa Ricans elected their new President: Rodrigo Chaves, a 60-year-old economist, former Minister of Finance and founding member of the Social Democratic Progress Party. The ex-official from the World Bank, became the country’s 49th Head of State.
Rodrigo Chaves, from the Social Democratic Progress Party (PPSD), won in the second round with 52.85% of the votes. His contender José María Figueres, from Partido Liberación Nacional (PLN), obtained 47.15%.
The battle between the two second round finalists, Chaves and Figueres, the contest was characterized by disrespect and constant attacks. Chaves was constantly questioned for the sexual harassment case at the World Bank, while Figueres was reproached for corruption scandals.
Without conviction, but with a deep sense of patriotism, many Costa Ricans went to the polls; however, they did so to express their utter discontent and reproach for both candidates. They wrote messages such as “they do not represent me,” “corrupt,” “stalker,” “nor one nor the other,” “Figueres, thief,” “protest,” as well as harsher insults.
According to the Electoral Code, invalid votes are those that do not comply with the requirements established by the electoral regulations, for example, those that mark two or more boxes on the ballot.
In total, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal counted 43,164 invalid votes. The reasons behind this certainly vary, nevertheless, in recent surveys, Costa Ricans mentioned rejection or displeasure with candidacies and disinterest or disillusionment with politics in general, were their main motives.
Undoubtedly, the presidential election was marked by the dissent and disapproval of thousands of ticos.
Elected President, Rodrigo Chaves, understands the situation the country is facing. “I know that seven out of ten voters did not vote for me, that is a reality I accept as part of a democratic expression.”
If anything, this election showed the populationis tired of empty promises and meaningless words. They’ve had enough of corruption scandals, paying high taxes to receive nothing in return, and having unscrupulous people running the country. On Sunday, they were very clear that political parties need to work very hard to regain their trust and present suitable candidates for the next elections.