Costa Rica presidential candidates take part in television debate ahead of Sunday's election Costa Rica presidential candidates take part in television debate ahead of Sunday's election 

Costa Rica set to hold presidential elections on Sunday

Costa Rican voters prepare to vote in Sunday’s presidential election, which features more than two dozen candidates, but no clear front runner.

By James Blears

With twenty-five candidates vying for Costa Rica’s presidency, none seem to have caught the decisive fancy or have captured the imaginational inspiration of the voters in pre-election opinion polls, as thirty-one percent of those surveyed coyly declare themselves still undecided, in the midst of increasing unemployment and alarmingly rising cases of Covid-19, which could hamper the election process.

An outright winner would have to gain forty percent of the vote or more in round one. If this doesn’t happen, then there will be a second-round runoff on April 3rd.

Listen to James Blears' report


The three main candidates include Fabricio Alvarado, aged 47, of the new Republic Party.

A television journalist, singer, and evangelical preacher, four years ago he won the first round of the presidential election, but then lost the second-round runoff to Carlos Alvarado. In the pre-election polls, he’s got 10.3 percent support.

Then there’s Lineth Saborio, aged 61, of the Christian Social Unity.

A lawyer, who’s been director of Costa Rica’s Judicial Police, she was the country’s vice-president from 2002-2006. Four years ago, she supported Carlos Alvarado in his successful run for the Presidency. She has 13 percent support in the polls.

Jose Maria Figueres, aged 67, is the candidate of the National Liberation Party. The polls indicate he has seventeen percent support. He was president of Costa Rica from 1994-1998.

Also on Sunday, Costa Ricans will elect the 57-member National Legislative Assembly.

05 February 2022, 15:01