Costa Rica’s leader is an “anti-establishment” economist

Costa Rican voters are betting on a new face in politics. Rodrigo Chavez, a 60-year-old conservative, won the second round of the presidential election on Sunday, April 3, with 52.8% of the vote. A proponent of “law and order”, this economist who breaks with the establishment has benefited from the rejection of the traditional political elite by the people. This former and interim finance minister (2019-2020) promises to revive the deteriorating economy of the small Central American country.

“I am committed to making a profound change in the regime.”, Sunday evening Mr. Chavez insisted. A champion of the Young Social Democratic Progressive Party (PPSD, center-right), he was almost six points ahead of his rival, former president Jose Maria Figueroa (1994-1998) of the National Liberation Party (PLN, center-right). Takes advantage of dissatisfaction with the outgoing government.

The Costa Ricans did not know much about Mr. Chavez, who won a surprise 16% of the vote in the first round on February 6. The former senior official, who was credited with just 5% of the vote at the start of the campaign with twenty-five presidential candidates, worked abroad for twenty-seven years at the World Bank before returning to Costa Rica three years ago. . He was appointed Minister of Finance in October 2019 by the current President of the Citizen Action Party (PAC, Left Center) Carlos Alvarado (2018-2022). But, six months later, he knocked on the door of the government to justify his actions “Uncompromising”.

“Re-empowerment of Citizens”

This outsider seduced voters who were disappointed by the eight-year rule of the PAC, which put an end to both the PLN and the Social-Christian Solidarity Party (PUSC, center-right) in 2014. The PAC did not win any of the 57 seats in the legislature during the February 6 Assembly elections, which coincided with the first round of the presidential election. Mr. Chavez portrays himself as the corrupt killer of the political elite, his opponent, Mr. Figueroa simulated as far as he was concerned. He was none other than the son of Jose Maria “Don Pepe” Figueroa, the founder of PLN and a three-time president. Euros) had won public contracts for consulting work on behalf of the French telecommunications company Alcatel, but was never sued.

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