Libertarian lawmaker candidate Carmen Quesada narrowly won the final seat for Limón in the Supreme Election Tribunal (TSE) recount. Quesada narrowly defeated Citizen Action Party candidate Rolando Ballestero by a paper-thin 250 vote margin in the recount of Limon’s 512 voting booths.
The Feb. 2 vote was so close that it was only on Tuesday that TSE determined that Quesada was the victor. Representatives of both Libertarians and PAC observed the recount. “I’m very excited to be a representative in the Legislative Assembly from my beloved province,” Quesada told La Nacion with tears in her eyes.
But this storybook ending does little to change the face of the legislative body and may, on certain measures, makes it harder for a president to obtain a majority on certain measures. The count of National Liberation of 18 deputies was unchanged.
PAC is second largest with 13, but that includes Victor Hugo Morales, who won but whose party withdrew his name because of questions arising from his past. The far left Broad Front Party won nine seats, but, again, must replace Jorge Arguedas, separated from a post by similar reasons.
The Social Christian Unity party won eight seats, Libertarians four, Costa Rican Renovation two, while Restauracion Nacional, Alianza Democrata Cristiana and PASE each have one. Of the Limon representation, Quesada is the only woman.
A preliminary vote count indicated that Quesada’s seat was only about 10 votes apart between Libertarians and PAC and was disputed by both parties. Under the 1949 constitution, voting is carefully scrutinized by the politically independent TSE under the minute examination of all parties.
The brief 1948 civil war was touched off by a dispute over an election. Ever after, elections have been carefully handled by TSE, a unique body that has prevented election strife. Citizens will go to the polls again in April for the final runoff for President between PAC’s Luis Guillermo Solis and National Liberation’s Johnny Araya.