Tuesday 7 December 2021

Carlos Alvarado achieves the worst rating of his entire term

The president's bad rating could be affected by the recent corruption scandals plaguing the country, though he is not directly involved and the questioning of the ruling partyby the presidential candidates

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QCOSTARICA – With only several months to go before he vacates Casa Presidencial,  Carlos Alvarado Quesada obtained the worst citizen rating of his entire term: 72 out of 100 Costa Ricans consider his management as bad or very bad.

Carlos Alvarado appearing before the Legislative Assembly

This note implies a decline with respect to the 66% disapproval obtained by the President exactly one year ago, in November 2020, revealed the survey of the Center for Research and Political Studies (CIEP), of the University of Costa Rica (UCR), released on Wednesday.

Only 12% of the citizens rate Alvarado’s work as good or very good. The remaining 16% have neutral opinions.

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The image of the President, according to the study, most likely worsened as a result of the latest cases of alleged corruption, despite the fact that the government was not directly involved in the latest investigations of the Chochinilla, Azteca and Diamante cases.

“This report is published in the midst of several scandals of apparent corruption that involve different levels and actors of the public administration, which could be associated with an effect on the evaluation that Costa Ricans make of both the Government in general and President Alvarado,” quoted the study.

Alvarado Quesada had recovered support from Costa Ricans in April 2020, as a result of the Government’s work in the first weeks of the health emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, this improvement faded in the following months until it peaked, in November 2021, its worst acceptance levels.

The CIEP also estimates that the constant attack by presidential candidates to the administration of the Government could be affecting the image of the President.

“The political campaigns of the different registered political parties that tend to dominate the media and tend to focus on questioning the ruling party and emphasizing the country’s problems and public management that must be addressed or solved for the next four years,” says the report.

However, this negative perception not only impacts the President, but also the political parties.

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According to the same survey, on a scale of 1 to 10, the average rating that Costa Ricans give to party structures is just 3.6, even below the 4.23 received by the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MOPT).

“The low rating obtained by the political parties stands out. Despite being in their moment of greatest visibility and relevance given the context of the national elections, the opinion of Costa Ricans is not favorable,” the study indicates.

One of the possible reasons, argues the CIEP, is the party oversupply.

For this election cycle, a historic 27political groups have registered with the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) – elections tribunal –  for the presidential elections of February 2022.

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“According to the measurement carried out in October 2021, 45% of the surveyed population mentioned that they do not like having so many options (candidates) to choose from, compared to 32% who said the opposite and 23% who mentioned that it does not matter to them,” concludes the study.

In contrast, Costa Ricans maintain a positive perception of the TSE, as citizens gave the electoral body a positive rating of 6.8.

In addition, the study reveals that corruption has become the greatest concern of Costa Ricans after the recent disclosure of several cases of anomalies related to public works contracts.

The perception that the Diamante case will have a rebound in the next elections also dominates. The Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) investigates six mayors, public officials and representatives of construction companies for alleged irregularities in cantonal road projects and payment of gifts.

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