Tuesday 28 March 2023

Vehicle restrictions suspended due to elections

The sanitary vehicle restriction constitutes a risk for voters who live far from their voting centers, argued the TSE

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28 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The vehicular restrictions will be suspended for four days, from Thursday to Monday, at the request of the Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) – Elections Tribunal.

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The suspension would be in effect from midnight Thursday, February 3,  until 12:59 pm Monday, February 7, due to national elections.

The TSE had requested the suspension from the Presidency, due to the need for voters to travel to the polling stations, in case they live far from where they are registered.

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The TSE considered that “the impossibility of free circulation for all citizens involves the risk of becoming an obstacle to the effective exercise of the right to vote, insofar as it may imply an impossibility for citizens to travel to the voting centers in case that they were registered in places distant from their habitual residence at the time of the election.

Likewise, the TSE highlighted that the restriction represents an impediment for the electoral agents who must travel to carry out their tasks on the day of the elections, taking into account that the electoral day begins at 6 am.

The decree “must be complied with by all police authorities in the country, including municipal police and traffic inspectors,” explained Héctor Fernández, director of the TSE Electoral Registry.

However, the restrictions on businesses would continue to be the same, that is they must respect the sanitary measures since these do not make it impossible for voters to circulate.

Elections in Costa Rica are supervised by the TSE, which has the constitutional rank of the fourth power of the State, that is, independent of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches.

All Costa Rican citizens have the right to vote from the age of 18 (or one year after naturalization, if they are foreigners).

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Employers must give employees working on elections day reasonable paid time off to vote.


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