Surveys Reveal Costa Rica’s Presidential Election Has No Clear Favorite to Win

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The emergence of new political leadership, dissatisfaction with the ruling party and ideological polarization have threatened the Costa Rican electorate for electing a new president on February 2.

    There are still many who say they will vote but do not know for who and there is the lack of a candidate with majority support.

    “With three almost tied candidates is difficult to know who will go to the second round. With so many undecided, the scenario is very uncertain,” said political analyst, Victor Ramirez.

    Surveys placed in the top four: Johnny Araya (National Liberation Party), the leftist José María Villalta (Broad Front), the rightist Otto Guevara (Libertarian Movement) and Luis Guillermo Solís (Citizens). But none have enough support to win more than 40% on February 2 to avoid a second round.

    The latest survey by Unimer for La Nacion placed Villalta at the head of the electoral preferences with 22.2%, followed by 20.3% for Araya and Guevara with 20.2%.

    According to the same survey, 24.5% of people are willing to vote but still do not know for whom.  Political scientist and university professor, Francisco Barahona, says this will create a scenario in which many will decide in the last moment.

    To Barahona, the votes of the undecided would not go to Araya, because of the high level of dissatisfaction with the work of National Liberation, already serving two consecutive terms in power and with a very bad ratings for President Laura Chinchilla.

    This discontent, coupled with the ideological divide in the country since the discussion of the free trade agreement with the United States that was defined in 2007 by referendum, are factors that partly explain the surprising support for the candidate Villalta.

    Villalta is not only the youngest candidate in this election (36 years), but is also the first candidate of his party that has a real chance of winning the presidency in the history of Costa Rica.

    The campaigns of the three candidates with the most support have focused on mutual attacks: Villalta rates Guevara and Araya as “the usual suspects” and is presented as an option to change; they claim that Villalta is an “extremist”.

    Guevara, who has his fourth consecutive presidential nomination, has focused on Villalta as being a “communist” and noted the many cases of corruption that has been immersed National Liberation Party.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose Costa Rica

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