Tuesday 6 June 2023

The race to replace Carlos Alvarado in 2022

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QCOSTARICA  – Twenty eight Costa Rican’s are lining up who want the position that Carlos Alvarado when he leaves office on May 8, 2022, when his term is up and cannot be reelected for a consecutive term.

As established by Costa Rica’s Constitution., there are only three requirements to be President: be Costa Rican by birth and a citizen in exercise; have secular status; be older than thirty years.

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Although politicking in the streets won’t be for some months to come, all political parties have begun the process of choosing a candidate that will represent them, the majority moving to find a way to avoid a third term led by the candidacy of the Partido Accion Cuidadana (PAC).

Who are they?

The grouping with the most people seeking to be nominated as a presidential candidate is the Partido Liberacion Nacional (PLN), a party that once alternated the presidency with the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), both parties to become sidelined by the PAC in the last two consecutive elections.

So far ten men want president under the PLN banner, some that have been there before.

  1. Antonio Alvarez Desanti
  2. Guillermo Constenla
  3. Rolando Araya
  4. Jose Maria Figueres (president of Costa Rica 1996-1998)
  5. Rolando Gonzalez
  6. Walter Herrera
  7. Robert Thompson
  8. Fernando Zamora placeholder image
  9. Claudio Alpízar
  10. Carlos Ricardo Benavides

So far, only Fernando Zamora, Claudio Alpízar, Guillermo Constenla and Roberto Thompson have filed an official application.

The PLN party is attempting to avoid an internal convention that can be seen by the voting public as a last-ditch effort by a dying party.

Two names that will not be on the convention ticket are Oscar Arias (1986-1990 and 2006 – 2010) and Laura Chinchilla (2010-2014). Both have declared publicly their intentions not to run in 2022.

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Read more: Oscar Arias: I am very clear that a third defeat for the PLN implies burying the party

As for the Partido Unidad Social Cristiana (PUSC), so far only four people have expressed an interest in leaving the party into the 2022 elections:

  1. Pedro Munoz
  2. Roberto Suñol
  3. Erwen Masis
  4. Lineth Saborío

The PUSC will begin the registration of its pre-candidacies this month and will continue with its internal election processes.

Over at the PAC, there are four figures interested in the position:

  1. Martha Zamora
  2. Carolina hidalgo
  3. Welmer Ramos
  4. Hernan Solano
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A fifth name bouncing around is Ana Helena Chacón, the current Costa Rican ambassador to Spain, though people close to her insist that it is not in her interest to seek a candidacy.

The PAC still do not have set the guidelines to choose a candidate, therefore, it is unknown when the internal PAC convention could be held.

“The calendar of the internal process of renovation of structures in the PAC is being elaborated. We do not have official dates,” reported the party’s Press Department.

Extensive list

The list does not end there. There are ten more people interested in running this country, some have made the attempt before, some by placing their name in their party’s nomination hat, or getting the nomination and actually running for president.

These are:

  1. Fabricio Alvarado now with Nueva Republica who made his aspiration official in January. Alvarado lost the 2018 election in a runoff with Carlos Alvarado
  2. José María Villalta of the Frente Amplio
  3. Patricia Mora of the Frente Amplio
  4. Eduardo Cruickshank with National Restoration. He does not confirm or deny but, he does analyze it according to the knowledge of this medium
  5. Sergio Mena with the Partido Nueva Generación. In April he could announce his decision
  6. Dragos Dolanescu with Costa Rica Justa
  7. Juan Diego Castro, a political figure who has yet to confirm his aspiration, but it is not ruled out that he will seek the Presidency again
  8. Natalia Díaz with her Partido Podemos
  9. Walter Muñoz travels the country for the processes of renovation of the structures of his party. He said that in May he defines if he presents his name to the Partido Integración Nacional (PIN)
  10. Rodrigo Chaves, former Minister of Finance, could be a candidate in an alliance that has not yet defined the participating parties. He is mentioned of one of Republicano Socialcristiano party

The presidential elections will be held on February 6, 2022. The president is currently elected in direct elections for a period of four years, which is not immediately renewable. Two vice presidents are elected on the same ticket as the president.

A candidate must receive at least 40% of the vote to win in the first round; if no candidate wins in the first round, a runoff is held between the two candidates with the largest number of votes

Due to the abolition of the military of Costa Rica in 1948, the president is not a commander-in-chief, unlike the norm in most other countries, although the Constitution does describe the president as commander-in-chief of the civil defense public forces.

From 1969 to 2005, the president was barred from seeking reelection. After the amendment banning reelection was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2005, an incumbent president became eligible to run again after waiting for at least two constitutional terms (8 years) after leaving office.


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