SAN JOSE – Costa Rican presidential candidates Fabricio Alvarado, leader of the National Restoration Party, and Carlos Alvarado, of the incumbent Citizen’s Action Party, will head to a second run-off vote, according to preliminary results on Sunday.
With 80.6 percent of the ballots counted, Fabricio Alvarado was leading with 24.6 percent, closely followed by Carlos Alvarado at 21.6 percent, although both were far from the 40 percent mark required to secure the presidency after just one round.
The second round of the presidential elections is due to be held on April 1.
Fabricio Alvarado, of the conservative National Restoration Party, a former journalist and evangelical preacher, ran a campaign defending “principles and values” in favor of a traditional family structure.
The 43-year-old rose to prominence rapidly after he opposed an Inter-American Court of Human Rights ruling urging Costa Rica to approve same-sex marriage.
His opponent from the left-wing CAP, 38-year-old Carlos Alvarado, presented himself as the reform candidate, despite being a part of current president Luis Guillermo Solis’ cabinet.
His campaign appealed to the country’s youth, promising to further the reforms carried out by Solis, the party’s only ever successful presidential candidate.
A total of 3.3 million Costa Ricans were eligible to vote on Sunday to elect their new president from 13 candidates, as well as choose 57 deputies of the Congress for the 2018-2022 term.