Thursday 30 November 2023

Historic, Costa Rica would have 20 presidential candidates in 2022

At most, there would be three women on the 2022 ballot

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QCOSTARICA – For the February 2022 presidential election, voters could choose from up to 20 political options, a record since 1953 and possibly historical, according to data from the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) – Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

Economic, social and health uncertainty encourages candidacies, according to Vladimir de la Cruz, historian and political analyst.

The abundance of parties is due to the uncertainty that the country is experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic and economic and labor problems, according to Vladimir de la Cruz, historian and political analyst.

The poor government of Carlos Alvarado Quesada as a motivator should also be included in the answer to why are there so many options on the presidential ballot,” added de la Cruz.

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“For the 1930 elections, Costa Rica registered a historical figure of more than 30 parties at the provincial level due to the uncertainty generated by the world depression of 1929, while today, almost a century later, the phenomenon is repeated but at the presidential level,” said de la Cruz.

So far, the election with the largest number of presidential candidates was held in 2006, when Óscar Arias of the PLN won by 18,000 votes. Arias was elected to a second term with 664,551 votes (40.92%).

On that occasion, there were 14 candidates for the job. See the complete list here.

Less than six months before the 2022 elections, there are 20 parties registered and with a defined candidate, or with several presidential candidates.

In this last group is the Partido Accion Cuiadadan (PAC) – which will hold its convention this Sunday, August 22,  Mario Redondo’s Alianza Demócrata Cristiana, the Partido de los Trabajadores, the Frente Amplio, the Restauración Nacional and the  Integración Nacional.

An important fact is that of those 20 presidential candidates, there would be a maximum of three women candidates if this Sunday Carolina Hidalgo, the frontrunner for the PAC, prevails.

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Lineth Saborío from PUSC and Natalia Díaz from Unidos Podemos are the only two women confirmed at the moment.

“I believe that I am a prepared woman, with experience in reaching agreements, dialogue, mediation, and the necessary political journey to lead Costa Rica in the face of the challenges that lie ahead.

“Post-pandemic recovery has to be based on economic development that creates opportunities for all people, especially the most vulnerable, and along this path I believe that my vision, and the vision of all women, will allow a truly sustainable and inclusive recovery,” declared Hidalgo in a recent interview.


The candidates for the presidential elections next year so far:

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  • Óscar López, Accesibilidad sin Exclusión (PASE)
  • Rolando Araya, Costa Rica Justa
  • José María Villalta, Frente Amplio
  • Greivin Moya, Fuerza Nacional
  • José María Figueres, Partido Liberacion Nacional
  • Eli Feinzaig, Liberal Progresista
  • Carlos Valenciano, Movimiento Libertario
  • Rodolfo Piza, Nuestro Pueblo
  • Sergio Mena, Nueva Generación
  • Fabricio Alvarado, Nueva República
  • Rodrigo Chaves, Progreso Social Democrático
  • Rodolfo Hernández, Republicano Social Cristiano
  • Lineth Saborío, Unidad Social Cristiana
  • Natalia Díaz, Unidos Podemos
  • Federico Malavassi,Unión Liberal

Still to define a candidate are:

  • Acción Ciudadana (PAC) – Hernán Solano, Carolina Hidalgo and Welmer Ramos
  • Alianza Demócrata Cristiana
  • Fuerza Nacional
  • Integración Nacional
  • Restauración Nacional – Melvin Núñez and Eduardo Cruickshank

The presidential elections recorded the largest number of parties fighting for the presidency in 2006, according to the TSE.

Year – Candidates

  • 2018 – 13
  • 2014 – 13
  • 2010 – 9
  • 2006 – 14
  • 2002 – 13
  • 1998 – 13
  • 1994 – 7
  • 1990 – 7
  • 1986 – 6
  • 1982 – 6
  • 1978 – 8
  • 1974 – 8
  • 1970 – 5
  • 1966 – 2
  • 1962 – 4
  • 1958 – 3
  • 1953 – 2

Costa Rica General Elections

General elections are held every four years, on the first Sunday in February, in accordance with the Constitution of Costa Rica, to elect the president, two vice-presidents, and all 57 legislators of the Legislative Assembly.

If none of the presidential nominees obtained at least 40% of the votes, a second electoral round will be held that same year between the two candidates who have obtained the most votes.

The 2022 elections, scheduled to be held on February 6, will be the eighteenth elections of this type held in the country since the current Constitution was put in force.

The incumbent president is prohibited from being reelected to his post consecutively, they must sit out at least one election before being eligible to run for the office again.

So the current president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who in 2018 won in a second electoral round, when for the third time in history no political party reached 40% of the votes

Likewise, it is established in the Constitution that the government ministers and the directors or managers of the autonomous institutions (ie ICE, AyA) must resign twelve months before the election is held in case they want to aspire to the presidency or vice-presidency.



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