Thursday 9 February 2023

Democracy has spoken: President-elect Chaves

52.9% of the votes gave Rodrigo Chaves victory in the second round. President-elect promises "profound and positive" changes in the way of governing.

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8 February 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Rodrigo Chaves of the Partido Progreso Social Democrática  (PPSD) managed to overcome the result of the first round and triumphed in the ballot this Sunday, April 3, which will allow him to assume as the 49th President of Costa Rica as of May 8.

Ending corruption and applying state reforms through the referendum is part of the Chaves government plan

With 52.85% of the votes, Chaves managed to prevail over former president José María Figueres of Liberación Nacional (PLN), who garnered the support of 47.1% of voters.

This, according to the latest cut (10:30 pm) by the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE),- elections tribunal, which gave the report with 97.98% of the polling stations counted.

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The result draws attention among other aspects because his party achieved victory in his political debut. Also to be noted, the PLN and the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), the two ruling parties for decades, have not been able to win in the last three consecutive elections.

Chaves will also have 10 legislators, which will repeat the history of the current government of Carlos Alvarado, which had one of the smallest pro-government factions.

Chaves’ day included accompanying his daughter Isabela to vote in the children’s elections at the College of Journalists (Courtesy)

Who is the new president?

Chaves managed to rise to the presidency of a country in which he did not live until the last elections.

He had left Costa Rica decades ago for the United States, where he graduated as an Economist from Ohio State University.

From there he began a career spanning more than three decades at the World Bank (Banco Mundial in Spanish), from which he emerged in the midst of a scandal that ended with a sanction for sexual misconduct that haunted him throughout the campaign.

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In the midst of his departure, he returned to Costa Rica where President Carlos Alvarado appointed him as Minister of Finance.

Chaves spent less than half a year in office, from October 30, 2019 ( however, it was not until November 26 of that year that he took office) to May 28, 2020, which transpired in the midst of controversies such as proposals for tax increases or a special tax on salaries greater than half a million colones in the midst of the pandemic.

Rodrigo Chaves Robles
Born June 10, 1961, El Carmen district of San Jose

  • Ph.D., Applied Economics and Financial Markets and Institutions, Ohio University
  • Master of Economics, Ohio State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Economics, Ohio State University

Experience:

  • Minister of Finance, 2019-2020
  • Country Director in Indonesia, World Bank, 2013-2019
  • Sector Director, Poverty Reduction, Public Sector Reform and Economic Management Latin America and the Caribbean 2011 – 2013
  • Sector Manager, Economic Policy Unit, Latin America and the Caribbean Region 2008 –2011

“It is not worth failing Costa Rica”

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In a conciliatory tone in his victory speech, the president-elect of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, said that the time had come to put away the political banners and called on his opponent, José María Figueres to reconcile positions.

In the Radisson hotel and facing the euphoria of his supporters gathered there, the economist said that he received the results that give him the victory with humility. He added that he has already spoken with President Carlos Alvarado.

On Twitter, Alvarado said he called Chaves to express his congratulations, carry out an orderly transition and express his best wishes in the tasks that Chaves will face as president number 49 of Costa Rica.

In his speech, Chaves said “Costa Rica, the best is yet to come. I assume the mandate with an obligation to do my job with transparency (…). I assume the commitment to make a democratic government, respectful of the law and Costa Rican values”.

“It is not worth failing Costa Rica. Let’s discuss what needs to be discussed and we find solutions, with everyone’s collaboration (…).  If we overcome our differences, the country is safe.

During his victory speech, the successor of Carlos Alvarado promised to govern democratically and in respect of the Political Constitution.

The former Minister of Finance asked his supporters to put down the flags of the PPSD and instead raise that of Costa Rica.

Chaves assured that at this stage there should be no room for revenge and insisted that he will give all his efforts to achieve “deep and positive changes.”

Correction. In the original article, we stated Ohio University instead of Ohio State University

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