Wednesday 5 October 2022

Phenomenon of the 2022 elections: Being a presidential candidate to get to the Legislative Assembly

17 of the 27 presidential candidates are also seeking a seat in the Legisaltive Assembly in the event they don't get to sit in the presidential chair for the 2022-2026 period

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QCOSTARICA – For the first time in Costa Rica’s electoral history, there will be 27 presidential candidates and 17 of them seek a seat in the Legislate Assembly if they are not elected President of the Republic.

That is, 17 candidates have double nomination of their respective political parties to lead them into the 2022 elections, yet have fall back to hold a legislative seat if they do not reach the presidential chair, which frankly, the majority have no chance of reaching the required 40% of the votes.

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Political scientist Constantino Urcuyo explains this phenomenon: “It is very simple, most of them know that they have no choice in the presidential election and they use the space to seek to reach the Assembly”.

Of the remaining 10 candidates without a double nomination, four are currently legislators so they cannot choose that position again (they would have to resign their current seat), which leaves six who are thinking only of the head of the Executive Branch of government in Costa Rica.

“It is a new phenomenon and it is part of the transition from a two-party system (Liberacion and Unidad that alternated power for decades) to a highly fragmented multiparty system,” said Urcuyo.

According to the candidate of the Liberal Progressive Plus party (PLP+) Eli Feinzaig, who is running a double nomination, this situation is positive for a new government.

“In the long run it is a good thing that the party leaders assume the responsibility of going to direct them from the Legislative Assembly,” he said.

“For the government, dialogue is facilitated if it knows who is the referent and the leader of the party and that is achieved when the presidential candidate, if they do not win, goes to the Assembly to propose their ideas and thoughts,” he added.

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The political analyst does not share that thought, since he considers that rather, having a fragmented Legislative Assembly with many parties, dialogue is complicated.

“On the contrary, it is much more difficult because there are more interlocutors with whom it is necessary to dialogue,” said Urcuyo.

More fragmented

The current Congress is multi-party and has become fragmented over time with the decision of several legislators to break from a political party to become independent.

In 2018, legislators from seven different political parties were elected, which later became more blocs when Nueva Republica was born and other legislators decided to depart from their fractions.

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Looking ahead to the 2022 elections, it is very likely that the Assembly will be even more divided.

“Just like this one, and it could even be worse, but it is too early to say,” said the political analyst.

That would complicate the job of the president-elect, who is expected to come out of a second round, since it is difficult for any one candidate to reach 40% of the required votes on February 6, 2022.

The elections tribubal has set April 3, 2022, for a second round vote of the two candidates with the most votes in the first round, if necessary.

“Costa Rica has changed a lot in the last 20 years, but the legislation has not done so at the same rate, we have 7, 8, 10 fractions and that makes dialogue difficult,” said Feinzaig, who will go in search of the presidency for the second time and the deputation for the first time.

These are the candidates with double application:

  1. Fabricio Alvarado – Nueva República
  2. Rolando Araya – Costa Rica Justa
  3. Natalia Díaz – Unidos Podemos
  4. Federico Malavassi – Unión Liberal
  5. Óscar López – Accesibilidad sin Exclusión
  6. Greivin Moya – Fuerza Nacional
  7. Sergio Mena – Nueva Generación
  8. Rodolfo Hernández – Republicano Social Cristiano
  9. Óscar Campos – Encuentro Nacional
  10. Maricela Morales – Unión Democrática Costarricense
  11. Jhonn Vega – Partido de los Trabajadores
  12. Eli Feinzaig – Liberal Progresista
  13. Camilo Rodríguez – Renovación Costarricense
  14. Martin Chinchilla Castro – Pueblo Unido
  15. Carmen Quesada – Justicia Social Costarricense
  16. Roulan Jiménez – Movimiento Social Demócrata Costarricense
  17. Rodolfo Piza – Nuestro Pueblo

No guarantees

Having a double nomination is not a guarantee of success, that is, of being elected at least as a legislator. This is reflected in the data from the last six general elections.

Between 1998 and 2018, 20 presidential candidates also bet on leading the ballot to reach Congress. Only five achieved deputation.

In 2002 and 2018, none of the presidential candidates with double nominations reached a seat.

This Wednesday, October 6, the electoral campaign officially began and each of the political groups will begin their registration to be part of the 2022 national elections.

Here is the complete slate of candidates:

  1. Camilo Rodríguez, Renovación Costarricense
  2. Carmen Quesada, Justicia Social Costarricense
  3. Christian Rivera, Alianza Demócrata
  4. Eduardo Cruickshank.,Restauración Nacional
  5. Eliécer Feinzaig , Liberal Progresista
  6. Fabricio Alvarado, Nueva República
  7. Federico Malavassi, Unión Liberal
  8. Greivin Moya, Fuerza Nacional
  9. John Vega, De los Trabajadores
  10. José María Figueres, Liberación Nacional (former president  1994 – 1998)
  11. José María Villalta, Frente Amplio
  12. Lineth Saborío, Partido Unidad Social Cristiana
  13. Luis Alberto Cordero, Movimiento Libertario
  14. Maricela Morales Mora, Unión Costarricense Democrática
  15. Martín Chinchilla, Pueblo Unido
  16. Natalia Díaz, Unidos Podemos
  17. Óscar Campos, Encuentro Nacional
  18. Óscar López, Accesibilidad Sin Exclusiones
  19. Rodolfo Hernández, Republicano Social Cristiano
  20. Rodolfo Piza, Nuestro Pueblo
  21. Rodrigo Chaves, Progreso Social Democrático
  22. Rolando Araya, Costa Rica Justa
  23. Roulan Jiménez, Movimiento Social Demócrata Costarricense
  24. Sergio Mena, Nueva Generación
  25. Viviam Quesada, Fuerza Democrática
  26. Walter Muñoz, Integración Nacional
  27. Welmer Ramos, Partido Acción Ciudadana


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